The use of intracardiac echocardiography catheters in endocardial ablation of cardiac arrhythmia: Meta-analysis of efficiency, effectiveness, and safety outcomes

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2020 Mar;31(3):664-673. doi: 10.1111/jce.14367. Epub 2020 Jan 30.


Aims: The optimal use of intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) may reduce fluoroscopy time and procedural complications during endocardial ablation of cardiac arrhythmias. Due to limited evidence in this area, we conducted the first systematic literature review and meta-analysis to evaluate outcomes associated with the use of ICE.

Methods and results: Studies reporting the use of ICE during ablation procedures vs without ICE were searched using PubMed/MEDLINE. A meta-analysis was performed on the 19 studies (2186 patients) meeting inclusion criteria, collectively representing a broad range of arrhythmia mechanisms. Use of ICE was associated with significant reductions in fluoroscopy time (Hedges' g -1.06; 95% confidence interval [CI] -1.81 to -0.32; P < .01), fluoroscopy dose (Hedges' g -1.27; 95% CI -1.91 to -0.62; P < .01), and procedure time (Hedges' g -0.35; 95% CI -0.64 to -0.05; P = .02) vs ablation without ICE. A 6.95 minute reduction in fluoroscopy time and a 15.2 minute reduction in procedure time was observed between the ICE vs non-ICE groups. These efficiency gains were not associated with any decreased effectiveness or safety. Sensitivity analyses limiting studies to an atrial fibrillation (AF) only population yielded similar results to the main analysis.

Conclusion: The use of ICE in the ablation of cardiac arrhythmias is associated with significantly lower fluoroscopy time, fluoroscopy dose, and shorter procedure time vs ablation without ICE. These efficiency improvements did not compromise the clinical effectiveness or safety of the procedure.

Keywords: ICE; arrhythmia; catheter ablation; intracardiac echocardiography; intracardiac ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnostic imaging
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / physiopathology
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / surgery*
  • Cardiac Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Cardiac Catheterization / instrumentation*
  • Cardiac Catheters*
  • Catheter Ablation / adverse effects
  • Catheter Ablation / instrumentation*
  • Echocardiography / instrumentation*
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Operative Time
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Radiation Exposure / adverse effects
  • Radiation Exposure / prevention & control
  • Treatment Outcome