Background/objectives: Little is known about atrial involvement in patients with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). Recent studies have suggested that atrial arrhythmia, including atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter (AFL), and atrial tachycardia, was common among these patients although the reported prevalence varied considerably across the studies. The current systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted with the aim of comprehensively investigating the prevalence of overall atrial arrhythmia and each atrial arrhythmia subtype in the setting of ARVC by identifying all relevant studies and combining their results together.
Methods: A comprehensive literature review was conducted by searching for published articles indexed in MEDLINE and EMBASE databases from inception through to 22 September 2019 to identify cohort studies of patients with ARVC that described the prevalence of atrial arrhythmia among the participants. The pooled prevalence across studies was calculated using a random-effect, generic inverse variance method of DerSimonian and Laird with a double arcsine transformation.
Results: A total of 16 cohort studies with 1986 patients with ARVC were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled prevalence of overall atrial arrhythmia among patients with ARVC was 17.9% [95% confidence interval (CI), 13.0-24.0%; I 88%], the pooled prevalence of atrial fibrillation of 12.9% (95% CI, 9.6-17.0%; I 78%), the pooled prevalence of AFL of 5.9% (95% CI, 3.7-9.2%; I 70%), and the pooled prevalence of atrial tachycardia of 7.1% (95% CI, 3.7-13.0%; I 49%).
Conclusion: Atrial arrhythmia is common among patients with ARVC with the pooled prevalence of approximately 18%, which is substantially higher than the reported prevalence of atrial arrhythmia in the general population.