High-power short duration vs. conventional radiofrequency ablation of atrial fibrillation: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Europace. 2021 May 21;23(5):710-721. doi: 10.1093/europace/euaa327.


Aims: We sought to compare the effectiveness and safety of high-power short-duration (HPSD) radiofrequency ablation (RFA) with conventional RFA in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).

Methods and results: MEDLINE, Cochrane, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases were searched until 15 May 2020 for relevant studies comparing HPSD vs. conventional RFA in patients undergoing initial catheter ablation for AF. A total of 15 studies involving 3718 adult patients were included in our meta-analysis (2357 in HPSD RFA and 1361 in conventional RFA). Freedom from atrial arrhythmia was higher in HPSD RFA when compared with conventional RFA [odds ratio (OR) 1.44, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.10-1.90; P = 0.009]. Acute PV reconnection was lower (OR 0.56, P = 0.005) and first-pass isolation was higher (OR 3.58, P < 0.001) with HPSD RFA. There was no difference in total complications between the two groups (P = 0.19). Total procedure duration [mean difference (MD) -37.35 min, P < 0.001], fluoroscopy duration (MD -5.23 min, P = 0.001), and RF ablation time (MD -16.26 min, P < 0.001) were all significantly lower in HPSD RFA. High-power short-duration RFA also demonstrated higher freedom from atrial arrhythmia in the subgroup analysis of patients with paroxysmal AF (OR 1.80, 95% CI 1.29-2.50; P < 0.001), studies with ≥50 W protocol in the HPSD RFA group (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.08-2.18; P = 0.02] and studies with contact force sensing catheter use (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.21-2.25; P = 0.002).

Conclusion: High-power short-duration RFA was associated with better procedural effectiveness when compared with conventional RFA with comparable safety and shorter procedural duration.

Keywords: Atrial fibrillation; Freedom from atrial arrhythmia; High-power short duration; Radiofrequency ablation.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation* / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / surgery
  • Catheter Ablation* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Radiofrequency Ablation*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome