Clinical impact of rotor ablation in atrial fibrillation: A systematic review

Ramanathan Parameswaran, Aleksandr Voskoboinik, Alexandra Gorelik, Geoffrey Lee, Peter M. Kistler, Prash Sanders, Jonathan M. Kalman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Aims Rotor mapping and ablation have gained favour over the recent years as an emerging ablation strategy targeting drivers of atrial fibrillation (AF). Their efficacy, however, has been a topic of great debate with variable outcomes across centres. The aim of this study was to systematically review the recent medical literature to determine the medium-term outcomes of rotor ablation in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) and persistent atrial fibrillation (PeAF). Methods and results A systematic search of the contemporary scientific literature (PubMed and EMBASE) was performed in August 2017. Only studies assessing arrhythmia-free survival from rotor ablation of AF were included. We used the random-effects model to assess the primary outcome of pooled medium-term single-procedure AF-free survival for both PAF and PeAF. Success rates from multiple procedures and complication rates were also examined. We included 11 observational studies (4 PAF and 10 PeAF) with a total of 556 patients (166 PAF and 390 PeAF). Pooled single-procedure freedom from AF was 37.8% [95% confidence interval 5.6?86.3%] at a mean follow-up period of 13.8 ± 1.8 months for PAF and 59.2% (95% CI 41.4?74.9%) at a mean follow-up period of 12.9 ± 6 months for PeAF. There was a marked heterogeneity between studies (I2 = 93.8% for PAF and 88.3% for PeAF). The mean complication rate of rotor ablation among the reported studies was 3.4%. Conclusion The wide variability in success rate between different centres performing rotor ablations suggests that the optimal ablation strategy, particularly targeting rotors, is unclear. Results from randomized studies are necessary before this technique can be considered as an established clinical tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1099-1106
Number of pages8
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Jul 2018


  • Ablation
  • Arrhythmia
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Mapping
  • Rotors
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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