Thromboembolism and bleeding risk in atrial fibrillation ablation with uninterrupted anticoagulation between new oral anticoagulants and vitamin K antagonists: insights from an updated meta-analysis

Abstract

Cumulative reports comparing the efficacy and safety outcomes between uninterrupted NOACs and vitamin K antagonists (VKA) in AF ablation had been freshly published. This meta-analysis aimed at offering a more comprehensive evaluation between these two anticoagulants in uninterrupted strategy. We searched in PUBMED, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library (inception to June 10, 2019) for eligible studies. Fixed-effects model was preferred in pooled analysis if I2 < 50%. Publication bias was also evaluated. A total of 23 studies involving 12,725 individuals were analyzed in this literature. There were no difference between uninterrupted NOACs and VKA groups in incidence of Stroke/TIA (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.54–1.77, P = 0.93, I2 = 0%), silent cerebral embolism (RR 1.09, 95% CI 0.82–1.43, P = 0.56, I2 = 0%), minor bleeding complication (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.83–1.14, P = 0.73, I2 = 0%), cardiac tamponade (RR 0.95, 95% CI 0.63–1.42, P = 0.80, I2 = 0%). Uninterrupted NOACs was associated with significantly lower major bleeding incidence (RR 0.67, 95% CI 0.49–0.92, P = 0.01, I2 = 0%), pericardial effusion (RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.56–1.00, P = 0.048, I2 = 9%). In sub-analysis, no difference was found in all sub-analyses for Stroke/TIA while significant major bleeding risk reduction in uninterrupted NOACs was identified in the subgroup of CHA2DS2-VASc score ≥ 2 and target activated clotting time (ACT) > 300 s. In conclusions, uninterrupted NOACs was more effective than uninterrupted VKA in reducing major bleeding and pericardial effusion risk without increasing thromboembolism risk, and the benefits of uninterrupted NOACs on major bleeding complication could be more pronounced if CHA2DS2-VASc score ≥ 2 or target ACT > 300 s.

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Acknowledgements

We would appreciate the kind help from Mr. Jin and Xiao Bai for photo editing.

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Liu, X., Gao, X., Chen, C. et al. Thromboembolism and bleeding risk in atrial fibrillation ablation with uninterrupted anticoagulation between new oral anticoagulants and vitamin K antagonists: insights from an updated meta-analysis. J Thromb Thrombolysis 50, 201–210 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11239-019-01989-5

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Keywords

  • Uninterrupted
  • NOACs
  • VKA
  • Catheter ablation
  • Atrial fibrillation