New-onset atrial fibrillation after percutaneous patent foramen ovale closure: a meta-analysis

Dominik Jurczyk*, Sascha Macherey-Meyer, Elias Rawish, Thomas Stiermaier, Ingo Eitel, Christian Frerker, Tobias Schmidt

*Corresponding author for this work


Background: The exact incidence and predictors of new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF) after percutaneous closure of patent foramen ovale (PFO) are unknown. Objective: We sought to find post-procedural AF incidence rates and differences due to different screening strategies and devices. Methods: A systematic search was conducted in Cochrane, MEDLINE and EMBASE. Controlled trials fulfilling the inclusion criteria were included into this meta-analysis. The incidence of new-onset AF was the primary outcome. Further parameters were surveillance strategy, device type, AF treatment and neurological events. New AF was determined as early onset within one month after implantation and late thereafter. Results: 8 controlled trials and 16 cohort studies were eligible for quantitative analysis. 7643 patients received percutaneous PFO closure after cryptogenic stroke or transient ischaemic attack, 117 with other indications, whereas 1792 patients formed the control group. Meta-analysis of controlled trials showed an AF incidence of 5.1% in the interventional and 1.6% in the conservative arm, respectively (OR 3.17, 95% CI 1.46–6.86, P = 0.03, I 2 = 55%). 4.7% received high-quality surveillance strategy with Holter-ECG or Loop recorder whereby AF incidence was overall higher compared to the low-quality group with 12-lead ECG only (3.3–15% vs. 0.2–4.3%). Heterogeneous results on time of AF onset were found, limited by different follow-up strategies. CardioSEAL and Starflex seemed to have higher AF incidences in early and late onset with 4.5% and 4.2%, respectively. Conclusion: Percutaneous PFO closure led to higher AF post-procedural incidence compared to the conservative strategy. Heterogeneity in surveillance and follow-up strategy limited the generalizability. Trial Registration: Registered on PROSPERO (CRD42022359945). Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Research in Cardiology
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1824-1834
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 12.2023

Research Areas and Centers

  • Centers: Cardiological Center Luebeck (UHZL)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-12 Cardiology, Angiology


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