JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Long-term efficacy and safety of cryoballoon ablation of atrial fibrillation: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

BACKGROUND: This meta-analysis evaluated long-term efficacy and safety of cryoballoon ablation (CB) of atrial fibrillation (AF).

METHODS: PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science were searched until July 31, 2023, for published works investigating efficacy and safety of CB of AF in which mean/median follow-up time was not less than 36 months. Safety was assessed by adverse events. Efficacy was assessed by AF recurrence, defined as any atrial arrhythmias lasting more than 30 s.

RESULTS: A total of 19 clinical studies were included. After an average of 58.1 months of follow-up, the overall AF recurrence rate was about 37%. The predictors of recurrence were duration of AF (HR 1.00; 95% CI [1.00 ∼ 1.01]), early recurrence of atrial fibrillation (HR 3.96; 95%CI [1.12 ∼ 14.02]), left atrial diameter (HR 1.04; 95%CI [1.02 ∼ 1.06]), and persistent AF (HR1.47; 95% CI [1.19 ∼ 1.82]). In terms of safety, the incidence of transient phrenic paralysis (PNP) was the highest, about 3%; followed by vascular complications (about 2%); pseudoaneurysm, permanent PNP, and all-cause death was (about 1%); and pericardial effusion and stroke / TIA was very low.

CONCLUSION: CB is associated with low rates of severe complications and reasonable success rates.

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