Uninterrupted New Oral Anticoagulants Compared With Uninterrupted Vitamin K Antagonists in Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation: A Meta-analysis

Ramez Nairooz, Karam Ayoub, Partha Sardar, Jason Payne, Ahmed Almomani, Naga Venkata Pothineni, Fnu Shailesh, Wilbert S. Aronow, Debabrata Mukherjee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Use of uninterrupted vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) during ablation of atrial fibrillation is superior to bridging with heparin. Few studies evaluated the use of uninterrupted new oral anticoagulants (NOACs) during ablation of atrial fibrillation. These studies are relatively small in size and mostly underpowered to show differences in the infrequent thromboembolic complications between comparators. Methods: We performed the first meta-analysis of uninterrupted NOAC compared with uninterrupted VKA in ablation of atrial fibrillation. We searched the online databases until May 2015 and report outcomes of interest as odds ratios (ORs) using a random effects model. A total of 3544 atrial fibrillation patients in 8 studies who underwent catheter ablation were included in this analysis. Results: Overall, stroke and/or transient ischemic attack events were of very low incidence with uninterrupted anticoagulation strategy in 6 of 3544. There were no differences in rates of stroke and/or transient ischemic attack between uninterrupted NOAC and uninterrupted VKA, 0.11% vs 0.22% (OR, 0.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.14-2.96; P = 0.58), nor in major bleeding 0.9% vs 1% (OR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.48-1.87; P = 0.87). All bleeding 6.5% vs 7.3% (OR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.67-1.29; P = 0.65), minor bleeding 6.3% vs 7.1% (OR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.67-1.28), and cardiac tamponade 0.6% vs 0.6% (OR, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.43-2.31; P = 1.0) were all equal with uninterrupted NOACs compared with uninterrupted VKAs. Among 3544 patients, only one death occurred in the VKA group. Conclusions: Use of uninterrupted NOACs in ablation appears to be as safe and efficacious as use of uninterrupted VKAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)814-823
Number of pages10
JournalCanadian Journal of Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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