Which are the most reliable predictors of recurrence of atrial fibrillation after transcatheter ablation?: a meta-analysis

Int J Cardiol. 2013 Sep 1;167(5):1984-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2012.05.008. Epub 2012 May 22.


Context: Transcatheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF) has undergone important development, with acceptable midterm results in terms of the safety and recurrence. A meta-analysis was performed to identify the periprocedural complications, midterm success rates and predictors of recurrence after AF ablation.

Methods and results: 4357 patients with paroxysmal AF, 1083 with persistent AF and 1777 with long standing AF were included. The pooled analysis showed that there was an in-hospital complication rate of tamponade requiring drainage of 0.99% (0.44-1.54; CI 99%), stroke with neurological persistent impairment of 0.22% (0.04-0.47; CI 99%), and stroke without of 0.36% (0.03-0.70; CI 99%) After a follow up of 22 (13-28) months and 1.23 (1.19-1.5; CI 99%) procedures per patient, the AF recurrence rate was 31.20% (24.87-34.81; CI 99%). The persistent AF patients exhibited a greater risk of recurrence after the first ablation (OR 1.78 [1.14, 2.77] CI 99%), but a trend towards non significance was present in the patients with more than one procedure (OR 1.69 [0.95, 3.00] CI 99%). The most powerful predictors of an AF ablation failure in the overall population were a recurrence within 30-days (OR 4.30; 2.00-10.80), valvular AF (OR 5.20; 2.22-9.50) and a left atrium diameter of more than 50mm (OR 5.10 2.00-12.90; all CI 95%).

Conclusions: Persistent AF remains burdened from higher recurrence rates, however not so following redo-procedures. Three predictors, valvular AF, a left atrium diameter longer than 50mm and recurrence within 30 days, could be appraised to drive selection of patients and therapeutic strategy.

Keywords: Atrial fibrillation; Catheter ablation; Meta-analysis; Multivariate predictors; Recurrence; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / therapy*
  • Cardiac Catheterization / trends*
  • Catheter Ablation / trends*
  • Humans
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Recurrence
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Treatment Outcome