AIM: Peri-procedural thromboembolic (TE) and hemorrhagic events are complications of major concern for patients undergoing cryoballoon (CB) ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF). While peri-procedural anticoagulation management could decrease the incidence of these complications, data on CB ablation are scarce. The role of novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) has not been thoroughly tested in this population.
METHODS: In the present study, we sought to assess acute peri-procedural complications in patients undergoing CB ablation for AF under different anticoagulation regimens; anticoagulation administration was performed according to the CHA2DS2-VASc score guidelines. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that compares 1) uninterrupted warfarin, 2) bridging therapy with low molecular weight heparin (LMWH), 3) aspirin and 4) NOACs in this subgroup of patients.
RESULTS: NOACs were as effective as uninterrupted warfarin in terms of bleeding complications and TE events. Surprisingly, the aspirin group had more hemorrhagic complications than both the warfarin and NOACs groups.
CONCLUSION: In the current study, the use of NOACs was an effective and safe approach in CB ablation.