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Traditional meta-analyses synthesize aggregate data obtained from study publications or study authors, such as a treatment effect estimate and its associated uncertainty. An increasingly important approach is the meta-analysis of individual participant data (IPD) where the raw individual-level data are obtained for each study and used for synthesis. This study compares and discusses results from an IPD meta-analysis vs standard meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of exercise cardiac rehabilitation in chronic heart failure (CHF).
Based on a previous systematic review, the Exercise Training Meta-Analysis of Trials for Chronic Heart Failure (ExTraMATCH II) identified and collected IPD from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared exercise rehabilitation with a non-exercise control with a minimum follow-up of six months. For this abstract, the outcome of interest was all-cause mortality. Original IPD were checked for consistency and compiled in a master dataset. Standard meta-analytic models were used for aggregate data whilst two-stage and one-stage approaches, accounting for the clustering of participants within studies, were planned for statistical analyses of IPD.
Overall thirty-three RCTs were included in the original systematic review, whereas within the ExTraMatch II project, IPD on all-cause mortality were obtained from seventeen RCTs of approximately 3,700 patients. From aggregate data there was no significant difference in pooled mortality (relative risk 0.92, 95% confidence interval 0.67 to 1.26). IPD analysis revealed 701 events across exercise and control groups. Our ongoing IPD analyses will allow us to examine how patients’ characteristics (e.g. age, New York Heart Association functional class, ejection fraction) modify treatment benefit.
Given the limitations of current trial level meta-analysis evidence in CHF, access to individual data from several RCTs offers a timely and important opportunity to revisit the question of which CHF patient subgroups benefit most from exercise-based rehabilitation.
Adults with tetralogy of Fallot experience atrial tachyarrhythmias; however, there are a few data on the outcomes of radiofrequency ablation. We examined the characteristics, outcome, and predictors of recurrence of atrial tachyarrhythmias after radiofrequency ablation in tetralogy of Fallot patients.
Retrospective data were collected from 2004 to 2013. In total, 56 ablations were performed on 37 patients. We identified two matched controls per case: patients with tetralogy of Fallot but no radiofrequency ablation and not known to have atrial tachyarrhythmias. Acute success was 98%. Left atrial arrhythmias increased in frequency over time. The mean follow-up was 41 months; 78% were arrhythmia-free. Number of cardiac surgeries, age, and presence of atrial fibrillation were predictors of recurrence. Lone cavo-tricuspid isthmus-dependent flutter reduced the likelihood of atrial fibrillation. Right and left atria in patients with tetralogy of Fallot were larger in ablated cases than controls. NYHA class was worse in cases and improved after ablation; baseline status predicted death. Of matched non-ablated controls, a number of them had atrial fibrillation. These patients were excluded from the case–control study but analysed separately. Most of them had died during follow-up, whereas of the matched ablated cases all were alive and the majority in sinus rhythm.
Patients with tetralogy of Fallot and atrial tachyarrhythmias have more dilated atria than those without atrial tachyarrhythmias. Radiofrequency ablation improves functional status. Left atrial ablation is more commonly required with repeat procedures. There is a high prevalence of atrial tachyarrhythmias, particularly atrial fibrillation, in patients with tetralogy of Fallot; early radiofrequency ablation may have a protective effect against this.
Patients with complex congenital cardiac disease are increasingly surviving to adulthood and many are keen to consider pregnancy. Haemodynamic status should be optimal prior to embarking on pregnancy and for some this may mean surgical intervention to alleviate haemodynamic residua.
We report the successful implantation of a percutaneous pulmonary stent valve into a right atrial to right ventricular conduit in a young woman with a Bjork modification of the Fontan palliation to improve haemodynamics prior pregnancy.
Catheter interventions offer a low-risk option for the treatment of haemodynamic residua and innovative use of new technologies such as the pulmonary stent valve presents a novel, safe, and effective treatment for such conduit problems.