The prognostic benefit of catheter ablation (CA) for atrial fibrillation in the setting of heart failure (HF) with reduced ejection fraction (EF) is unclear. A systematic search of medical literature was limited to randomized controlled trials. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality, and secondary outcomes were HF hospitalizations, stroke, left ventricular EF improvement, change in 6-minute walk test, and change in Minnesota living with HF questionnaire (Δ MLHFQ). Random effects risk ratios (RR) were calculated for categorical outcomes and standardized mean differences (SMD) for continuous ones, using Der-Simonian and Liard model. A total of 775 ambulatory patients from 6 trials were included. The mean EF was 31% with a mean New York Heart Association classification class 2.5. At a mean follow-up of 26 months, CA was associated with lower incidences of all-cause mortality (RR 0.50, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 0.34 to 0.74, I2 = 0%, p <0.0001), and HF hospitalizations (RR 0.58, 95% CI 0.41 to 0.81, p = 0.002, I2 = 0%), with similar incidences of stroke. Left ventricular EF improvement (SMD = 2.58, 95% CI 0.88 to 4.27), and change in Minnesota living with heart failure HF questionnaire (SMD = −0.40, 95% CI −0.65 to −0.14) were also in favor of CA, with no difference noted in change in 6-minute walk test. The incidence of all reported procedural complications (including major and minor) was 7.3%. In conclusion, CA of atrial fibrillation appears to be associated with improved survival and HF hospitalizations compared with medical therapy, with evidence of low ablation-related complications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine