Efficacy and safety of rivaroxaban compared with vitamin K antagonists for peri-procedural anticoagulation in catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Rivaroxaban is increasingly used in patients undergoing catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF). In the absence of large controlled trials, a comprehensive meta-analysis of the literature appears to be the best way to obtain reliable evidence on rare peri-procedural outcomes such as thromboembolic or bleeding events. We aimed to provide a detailed analysis of currently available data on safety and efficacy of peri-procedural rivaroxaban in patients undergoing AF ablation. We performed a systematic search of the English language literature for studies comparing peri-procedural rivaroxaban therapy with vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) and reporting detailed data on bleeding and/or thromboembolic complications. The Peto odds ratio (POR) was used to pool data into a fixed-effect meta-analysis. A total of 7400 patients undergoing catheter ablation were included in 15 observational and 1 randomized studies of which 1994 were receiving rivaroxaban and 5406 VKA. The risk of thromboembolism trended to be lower in the rivaroxaban group [4/1954 vs. 19/5219, POR 0.40, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.16–1.01, P = 0.052]. Major bleeding events occurred in 23 of 1994 cases (1.15%) in the rivaroxaban and 90 of 5406 (1.66%) in the VKA group (POR 0.74, 95% CI, 0.46–1.21, P = 0.23). A total of 87 minor bleeding events were reported in 1753 patients (4.96%) in the rivaroxaban group and in 165 of 4009 patients (4.12%) in the VKA group (POR 0.84, 95% CI 0.63-1.11, p = 0.22). In patients undergoing AF ablation, rivaroxaban appears to be an effective and safe alternative to VKA.
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