Incidence of atrial fibrillation in pregnancy and clinical significance: A meta-analysis

PURPOSE Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia worldwide, and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. However, the incidence and maternal/fetal outcomes of AF in pregnancy remain unclear. This study's aims were to investigate the pooled incidence of AF in pregnant women and to assess maternal/fetal outcomes of AF in pregnancy. MATERIAL AND METHODS A literature search for studies that reported incidence of AF in pregnancy, was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Database from inception through May 2018. Pooled incidence with 95%CI were calculated using a random-effect model. The protocol for this meta-analysis is registered with PROSPERO (International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews; no. CRD42018095955). RESULTS We identified 7 cohort studies including 301,638 pregnancies. The pooled estimated incidence of AF in pregnancy among women with no known heart disease, and those with structural heart disease was 0.3% (95%CI: 0.01%-40.6%) and 2.2% (95%CI: 0.96%-5.01%), respectively. Among women with known AF, the pooled estimated incidence of recurrent AF in pregnancy was 39.2% (95%CI: 16.9%-67.2%). The pooled estimated incidence of pre-eclampsia and congestive heart failure among pregnant patients with AF was 4.1% (95%CI: 2.1%-7.8%) and 9.6% (95%CI: 5.7%-15.9%), respectively. The pooled estimated incidence of fetal events including premature birth, small for gestational age, respiratory distress syndrome, intraventricular hemorrhage, death was 26.6% (95%CI: 20.4%-34.0%). CONCLUSION The overall estimated incidence of AF and recurrent AF during pregnancy is as high as 2.2% and 39.2%, respectively. AF during pregnancy may result in poor maternal and fetal outcomes.
as reported in: Adv Med Sci. 2019 Sep 12; 64(2): 415-422 [Epub ahead of print]