Background: Atrial arrhythmias are common in patients with atrial septal defects (ASD) but the effects of percutaneous closure on atrial arrhythmia prevalence is unclear. We investigated the effects of ASD device closure and the impact of age at time of closure on prevalent atrial arrythmia. Methods: Meta-analysis of studies reporting atrial arrhythmia prevalence in adult patients before and after percutaneous closure was performed. Primary outcomes were prevalence of ‘all atrial arrhythmia’ and atrial fibrillation alone post closure. Sub-group analysis examined the effects of closure according to age in patients; <40 years, ≥40 and ≥ 60 years. 25 studies were included. Results: Meta-analysis of all studies demonstrated no reduction in all atrial arrhythmia or atrial fibrillation prevalence post-closure (OR 0.855, 95% CI 0.672 to 1.087, P = .201 and OR 0.818, 95% CI 0.645 to 1.038, P = .099, respectively). A weak reduction in all atrial arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation was seen in patients ≥40 years (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.616 to 0.979, P = .032 and OR 0.760, 95% CI 0.6 to 0.964, P = .024, respectively) but not ≥60 years (OR 0.822, 95% CI 0.593 to 1.141, P = .242 and OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.598 to 1.152, P = .266, respectively). No data were available in patients <40 years. This, and other limitations, prevents conclusive assessment of the effect of age on arrhythmia prevalence. Conclusions: Overall, percutaneous ASD closure is not associated with a reduction in atrial arrhythmia prevalence in this meta-analysis. A weak benefit is seen in patients ≥40 years of age, not present in patients ≥60 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-112
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Early online date14 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020


  • Atrial arrhythmia
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Percutaneous device closure of atrial septal defect
  • Secundum atrial septal defect


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