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The effects of rhythm control strategies versus rate control strategies for atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter: a protocol for a systematic review with meta-analysis and Trial Sequential Analysis

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BACKGROUND: Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia of the heart with a prevalence of approximately 2% in the western world. Atrial flutter, another arrhythmia, occurs less often with an incidence of approximately 200,000 new patients per year in the USA. Patients with atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter have an increased risk of death and morbidities. The management of atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter is often based on interventions aiming at either a rhythm control strategy or a rate control strategy. The evidence on the comparable effects of these strategies is unclear. This protocol for a systematic review aims at identifying the best overall treatment strategy for atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter.

METHODS: This protocol for a systematic review was performed following the recommendations of the Cochrane Collaboration and the eight-step assessment procedure suggested by Jakobsen and colleagues. We plan to include all relevant randomised clinical trials assessing the effects of any rhythm control strategy versus any rate control strategy. We plan to search the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS, Science Citation Index Expanded on Web of Science, and BIOSIS to identify relevant trials. Any eligible trial will be assessed and classified as either high risk of bias or low risk of bias, and our conclusions will be based on trials with low risk of bias. The analyses of the extracted data will be performed using Review Manager 5 and Trial Sequential Analysis. For both our primary and secondary outcomes, we will create a 'Summary of Findings' table and use GRADE assessment to assess the quality of the evidence.

DISCUSSION: The results of this systematic review have the potential to benefit thousands of patients worldwide as well as healthcare systems and healthcare economy.


TidsskriftSystematic Reviews
Sider (fra-til)47
StatusUdgivet - 6 mar. 2017

ID: 50157810