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AF Ablation and Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Providencia et al provide a systematic review and meta-analysis of the atrial fibrillation in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The authors find that procedures were associated with low rate of adverse events. There was lower rates of success, higher rates of relapse and higher probability of need for anti-arrhythmic drugs in the HCM group. The authors speculate that patients with paroxysmal AF and smaller left atria may have outcomes similar to the general population.



Atrial fibrillation (AF) is common in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and is associated with a high risk of stroke. The efficacy and safety of catheter ablation in this setting is poorly characterised. We aimed to systematically review the existing literature and to perform a meta-analysis to determine the efficacy and safety of catheter ablation of AF in patients with HCM.


Random-effects meta-analysis of studies comparing HCM versus non-HCM controls. The outcomes of freedom from AF/atrial tachycardia, and acute procedure-related complications were assessed. Studies were searched on MEDLINE, EMBASE, COCHRANE and clinicaltrials.gov.


Fourteen studies were considered eligible for the systematic review, of which five were included in the meta-analysis. Freedom from AF/atrial tachycardia relapse was higher in patients without HCM (after a single procedure: 38.7% HCM vs 49.8% controls, OR=2.25, 95% CI 1.09 to 4.64, p=0.03; after ≥1 procedure: 51.8% HCM vs 71.2% controls, OR=2.62,
95% CI 1.52 to 4.51, p=0.0006; I2=33% and 26%, respectively). Risk of procedure-related adverse events
was low. Repeat procedures (mean difference=0.16, 95% CI 0.0 to 0.32, p=0.05, I2=53%) and antiarrhythmic drugs (OR=4.70, 95% CI 2.31 to 9.55, p<0.0001, I2=0%) are more frequently needed in patients with HCM to prevent arrhythmia relapse.
Sensitivity analyses suggested that the outcome in patients with HCM with less dilated atria and paroxysmal AF may be more comparable to the general population.


The observed complication rate of catheter ablation of AF in patients with HCM was low. Even though the risk of relapse is twofold higher, catheter ablation can be effective in patients with HCM and AF, particularly in patients with paroxysmal AF and smaller atria.


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