2018 Volume 82 Issue 7 Pages 1770-1777
Background:Atrial fibrillation (AF) frequently coexists with heart failure (HF) with reduced ejection fraction (EF). This meta-analysis compared AF control strategies, that is, rhythm vs. rate, and catheter ablation (CA) vs. anti-arrhythmic drugs (AAD) in patients with AF combined with HF.
Methods and Results:The MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL databases were searched, and 13 articles from 11 randomized controlled trials with 5,256 patients were included in this meta-analysis. The outcomes were echocardiographic parameters (left ventricular EF, LVEF), left atrial (LA) size, and left ventricular end-systolic volume, LVESV), clinical outcomes (mortality, hospitalization, and thromboembolism), exercise capacity, and quality of life (QOL). In a random effects model, rhythm control was associated with higher LVEF, better exercise capacity, and better QOL than the rate control. When the 2 different rhythm control strategies were compared (CA vs. AAD), the CA group had significantly decreased LA size and LVESV, and improved LVEF and 6-min walk distance, but mortality, hospitalization, and thromboembolism rates were not different between the rhythm and rate control groups.
Conclusions:In AF combined with HF, even though mortality, hospitalization and thromboembolism rates were similar, a rhythm control strategy was superior to rate control in terms of improvement in LVEF, exercise capacity, and QOL. In particular, the CA group was superior to the AAD group for reversal of cardiac remodeling.