Pulmonary vein isolation plus adjunctive therapy for the treatment of atrial fibrillation: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Rahul Bussa, Matthew Nudy, Mohammad Ahmed, Jatin Bussa, Sterling Wheaten, Eric Zimmerman, Mario D. Gonzalez, Gerald V. Naccarelli, Ankit Maheshwari

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Background: Pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) is the primary technique for ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF). It is unclear whether adjunctive therapies in addition to PVI can reduce atrial arrhythmia recurrence (AAR) compared to PVI alone in patients with AF. Methods: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials comparing PVI plus an adjunctive therapy (autonomic modulation, linear ablation, non-pulmonary vein trigger ablation, epicardial PVI [hybrid ablation], or left atrial substrate modification) to PVI alone was conducted. The primary outcome was AAR. Cumulative odd’s ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for each treatment type. Results: Forty-six trials were identified that included 8,500 participants. The mean age (± standard deviation) was 60.2 (±4.1) years, and 27.2% of all patients were female. The mean follow-up time was 14.6 months. PVI plus autonomic modulation and PVI plus hybrid ablation were associated with a relative 53.1% (OR 0.47; 95% CI 0.32 to 0.69; p < 0.001) and 59.1% (OR 0.41; 95% CI 0.23 to 0.75; p = 0.003) reduction in AAR, respectively, compared to PVI alone. All categories had at least moderate interstudy heterogeneity except for hybrid ablation. Conclusion: Adjunctive autonomic modulation and epicardial PVI may improve the effectiveness of PVI. Larger, multi-center randomized controlled trials are needed to evaluate the efficacy of these therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-537
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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