Review of the Catheter Ablation Technique in AF. Background: Several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have been published to investigate the optimal techniques for atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation. Many of these are small in number and include both paroxysmal and persistent AF; however, the techniques for each of these types of AF may differ.
Method and Results: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register for RCTs evaluating AF ablation for either paroxysmal or persistent AF. The primary endpoint was freedom from AF after a single procedure. A total of 35 unique randomized controlled trials were found to fulfill the criteria. A significant degree of heterogeneity was present given the differing sample sizes, populations studied, and outcomes. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) was found to be favorable in prevention of AF over antiarrhythmic drugs (AADs) in either paroxysmal (5 studies, RR 2.26; 95% CI 1.74, 2.94) or persistent AF (5 studies, RR 3.20; 95% CI 1.29, 8.41). When comparing specific techniques, wide-area PVI appeared to offer the most benefit for both paroxysmal (6 studies, RR 0.78; 95% CI 0.63, 0.97) and persistent AF (3 studies, RR 0.64; 95% CI 0.43, 0.94). CFE ablation provided only benefit for persistent AF when combined with antral PVI (4 studies, RR 0.55; 95% CI 0.34, 0.87).
Conclusions: Despite significant methodological limitations, it appears that additional ablations beyond PVI are necessary for persistent AF but not proven for paroxysmal AF. The optimal technique for persistent AF, however, deserves a further study, in the setting of a large, randomized controlled trial. (J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol, Vol. 22, pp. 729-738, July 2011)
"Catheter ablation has been evolving rapidly for the management of atrial fibrillation (AF) with improvements in both efficacy and safety.1) The efficacy of radiofrequency (RF) catheter ablation for maintaining sinus rhythm is superior to the current antiarrhythmic drug therapy in selected patients.2),3),4) The goal of catheter ablation is to eliminate AF. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The efficacy and safety of catheter ablation for the management of atrial fibrillation (AF) has been improved in recent years. Radiofrequency (RF) catheter ablation for maintaining sinus rhythm is superior to the current antiarrhythmic drug therapy in selected patients. Pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) is the cornerstone of various catheter ablation strategies. It is well recognized that pulmonary vein (PV) antrum contributes to the AF initiation and/or perpetuation. Since PV stenosis is a complication of ablation within a PV, the ablation site for PVI has shifted to the junction between the left atrium and the PV rather than the ostium of the PV. However, PV reconnection after ablation is the major cause of recurrence of AF. The recovery of PV conduction could be caused by anatomical variations such as the failure to produce complete transmural lesion or gaps at the ablation line due to the transient electrophysiologic effects from the RF ablation. In this review, we discussed several factors to be considered for the achievement of the best PVI, including clinical aspects and technical aspects.
Korean Circulation Journal 09/2014; 44(5):291-300. DOI:10.4070/kcj.2014.44.5.291 · 0.75 Impact Factor
"Nine randomised controlled trials (RCTs), published from 2003 to 2011 were identified and summarized . Two recent systematic reviews [13,14] and three recent HTA reports (Canada, US, Sweden) [6,10,15] were also identified and included the same major RCTs from our systematic search. In addition, we had Belgian administrative data at our disposal which allowed us to retrieve real-world cost data and drug administration after catheter ablation. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A health technology assessment (HTA) of catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (CA-AF) was commissioned by the Belgian government and performed by the Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre (KCE). In this context, a systematic review of the economic literature was performed to assess the procedure's value for money.
A systematic search for economic literature about the cost-effectiveness of CA-AF was performed by consulting various databases: CRD (Centre for Reviews and Dissemination) HTA and CDSR (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews) Technology Assessment, websites of HTA institutes, NHS EED (NHS Economic Evaluation Database), Medline (OVID), EMBASE and EconLit. No time or language restrictions were imposed and pre-defined selection criteria were used. The two-step selection procedure was performed by two persons. References of the selected studies were checked for additional relevant citations.
Out of 697 references, seven relevant studies were selected. Based on current evidence and economic considerations, the rationale to support catheter ablation as first-line treatment was lacking.The economic evaluations for second-line catheter ablation included several assumptions that make the results rather optimistic or subject to large uncertainty. First, overall AAD (antiarrhythmic drugs) use after ablation was higher in reality than assumed in the economic evaluations, which had its impact on costs and effects. Second, several models focused on the impact of ablation on preventing stroke. This was questionable because there was no direct hard evidence from RCTs to support this assumption. An indirect impact through stroke on mortality should also be regarded with caution. Furthermore, all models included an impact on quality of life (QoL)/utility and assumed a long-term impact. Unfortunately, none of the RCTs measured QoL with a generic utility instrument and information on the long-term impact on both mortality and QoL was lacking.
Catheter ablation is associated with high initial costs and may lead to life-threatening complications. Its cost-effectiveness depends on the belief one places on the impact on utility and/or preventing stroke, and the duration of these effects. Having no hard evidence for these important variables is rather troublesome. Although the technique is widely spread, the scientific evidence is insufficient for drawing conclusions about the intervention's cost-effectiveness.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A novel ablation system consisting of a duty-cycled phased radiofrequency generator and multielectrode mapping and ablation catheters has been introduced to provide ablation therapy in patients with symptomatic atrial fibrillation (AF). Contiguous lesions may be created using anatomically designed ablation catheters maneuvered under fluoroscopic guidance without the use of a 3D electroanatomic mapping system. In addition to pulmonary vein isolation using a circular, decapolar ablation catheter, an ablation strategy targeting complex fractionated atrial electrograms can be performed using two supplemental multiarray catheters specifically designed for ablation at the left atrial septum and within the left atrial body. Procedural times for treating persistent AF using phased radiofrequency are reported as being between 2 and 2.5 h. Freedom from AF ranges between 33 and 75% after a single procedure, which is comparable to other conventional ablation approaches (utilizing electroanatomic mapping). Additional studies in larger patient numbers are needed to understand the long-term maintenance of results and potential adverse effects of the technology.
Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy 08/2011; 9(8):1041-9. DOI:10.1586/erc.11.110
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