Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 6 pp 8620—8627

The whole term efficacy of different treatments in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation in aging: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Yinan Sun1, , Lu Wang2, , Xiaoyun Yang1, ,

  • 1 Department of Cardiology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China
  • 2 Department of Oncology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China

Received: August 3, 2020       Accepted: February 8, 2021       Published: March 10, 2021
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2021 Sun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Antiarrhythmic drug therapy (ADT) and catheter ablation (CA) are the main treatments for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. However, the short- and long-term clinical efficacy of these treatments remains controversial. Our goal is to investigate efficacy and safety of the standardized treatment of elderly patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF). Eight randomized controlled trials on CA and ADT for treating PAF were included. Totally, 1336 patients were included. Studies on CA and ADT for treating PAF that were published between January 2005 and June 2020 in the Cochrane Library, PubMed and EMBASE were screened and identified. Atrial fibrillation-free rates and Short Form (SF-36) health score-related indexes were analyzed. Atrial fibrillation-free rates were similar in the CA and ADT groups [risk ratio (RR) 1.32; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.96-1.82; P = 0.08] at 3 months. The CA group had a significantly higher atrial fibrillation-free rate at 6 months (RR 1.87; 95% CI 1.38-2.53; P < 0.001), 9 months (RR 2.38; 95% CI 1.43-3.96; P < 0.001), and 12 months (RR 2.21; 95% CI 1.28-3.84; P=0.005). However, there was no significant difference in terms of long-term efficacy at 24 months (RR 1.81; 95% CI 0.97-3.36; P = 0.06). The 12-month QOL physical and mental components (RR 2.41; 95% CI 0.89-3.93; P = 0.002) were significantly higher in CA group. The CA is more effective than ADT in the short-term prognosis. But the long-term prognosis of PAF needs to be verified via randomized controlled trials with longer follow-up durations.


ADT: antiarrhythmic drug therapy; CA: catheter ablation; PAF: paroxysmal atrial fibrillation; SF-36: short form health score-36; RR: risk ratio; CI: confidence interval; QOL: quality of life; RCT: randomized controlled trial.