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Heart, Lung and Circulation

Anteroposterior Versus Anterolateral Electrode Position for Direct Current Cardioversion of Atrial Fibrillation: A Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials

Published:September 24, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hlc.2022.08.016

      Objective

      Data regarding optimal electrode positioning for direct current cardioversion (DCCV) of atrial fibrillation (AF) has been inconsistent. This meta-analysis was conducted to systematically compare the efficacy of anteroposterior (AP) versus anterolateral (AL) electrode placement for DCCV of AF.

      Methods

      Electronic databases were searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing AP versus AL electrode positioning in patients undergoing DCCV for AF. Primary endpoints were first-shock success and overall DCCV success. Subgroup analysis was performed by defibrillator waveform (monophasic versus biphasic). Meta-regression analyses were performed to assess for significant moderators.

      Results

      Twelve (12) RCTs, including a total of 2,046 patients, met inclusion criteria. Neither first-shock success (relative risk [RR] 0.92; 95% CI 0.79–1.07; p=0.28) nor overall DCCV success (RR 1.01; 95% CI 0.96–1.05; p=0.78) were significantly different with AP versus AL electrode positioning. The mean number of shocks (mean difference [MD] 0.3, 95% CI -0.4 to 0.9), energy level of first successful shock (MD 3 joules; 95% CI -20 to 27) and cumulative energy delivered (MD 39 joules; 95% CI -168 to 246) were similar in AP versus AL arms. In subgroup analysis of six RCTs using biphasic defibrillators, improvement in first-shock success (RR 0.85; 95% CI 0.69–1.03; p=0.10) and overall DCCV success (RR 0.97; 95% CI 0.93–1.01; p=0.09) with AL electrode positioning did not reach statistical significance. Meta-regression analyses identified older age, higher body mass index, and longer AF duration as significant moderators favouring AL electrode positioning.

      Conclusions

      Pooled analysis of randomised data overall does not show a significant difference in efficacy between AP versus AL electrode positioning. Meta-regression and subgroup analyses suggest that, in contemporary practice with use of biphasic defibrillators, there may be a subset of AF patients in whom AL electrode positioning improves efficacy of DCCV.

      Keywords

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