Venous Thrombosis After Electrophysiology Procedures: A Systematic Review

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BACKGROUND:Femoral venous access for catheter introduction represents the cornerstone of electrophysiology (EP) procedures. Limited data are available regarding postprocedure VTE. The aim of this systematic review is to determine the incidence of DVT and pulmonary embolism (PE) associated with femoral vein catheterization during EP procedures.METHODS:An electronic search was conducted for studies documenting the incidence of DVT and PE after EP procedures. Studies were classified as atrial fibrillation (AF) or non-AF ablation procedures.RESULTS:Two thousand eight-hundred sixty-four studies were evaluated, 16 of which were included in the analysis. The incidence of DVT after AF and non-AF ablations reached as high as 0.33% and 2.38%, respectively, with a pooled incidence of 0% (95% CI, 0%-0.0003%) and 0.24% (95% CI, 0.08%-0.39%), respectively. The incidence of PE was 0.29% after AF ablation and ranged from 0% to 1.67% for non-AF procedures; the pooled incidence after non-AF ablations was 0.12% (95% CI, 0%-0.25%). Asymptomatic DVT was documented in up to 21.2% of patients. Hematomas occurred in 1.05% of AF ablations (95% CI, 0.30%-1.8%) and 0.3% of non-AF ablations (95% CI, 0.09%-0.51%).CONCLUSIONS:A lower incidence of symptomatic DVT and PE was observed after AF ablations as opposed to non-AF ablations, likely due to the use of routine periprocedural anticoagulation. Asymptomatic DVTs appear to be common, although their significance is unclear. Future studies are required to weigh the risk of hematoma against the risk of VTE associated with the use of prophylactic anticoagulation after non-AF ablation procedures.

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