Long-term symptom improvement and patient satisfaction following catheter ablation of supraventricular tachycardia: insights from the German ablation registry

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To analyse outcomes of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) ablations performed within a prospective German Ablation Quality Registry.

Methods and results

Data from 12 566 patients who underwent catheter ablation of SVT between January 2007 and January 2010 to treat atrial fibrillation (AFIB, 37.2% of procedures), atrial flutter (AFL, 29.9%), atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia (AVNRT, 23.2%), atrioventricular re-entrant tachycardia (6.3%), and focal atrial tachycardia (AT, 3.4%) were prospectively collected. Patients were followed for at least 1 year. The periprocedural success rate was 96.3%, ranging from 84.3% (focal AT) to 98.9% (AVNRT). Kaplan–Meier mortality estimate at 1 year was 1.4% overall, and as high as 2.6% in the AFL group and 2.8% in the focal AT group. Recurrence of ablated or another symptomatic SVT was observed in 3783 (32.6%) of patients, ranging from 17.2% (AVNRT) to 45.6% (AFIB). Repeat ablation was performed in 12.0% of patients. After 1 year, 74.1% of survivors perceived ablation therapy as successful, 15.7% as partly successful, and 9.6% as unsuccessful. Even in those patients with arrhythmia recurrence, 76.0% perceived ablation as successful or partly successful and 89.6% would still undergo repeat ablation in the same institution.


Ablation therapy for SVT is a safe procedure bringing symptomatic improvement and satisfaction to three quarters of patients after 1 year. Even in patients with arrhythmia recurrence, a high satisfaction level and adherence to the ablating institution could be documented. Strikingly high mortality and stroke rates in follow-up were observed in AFL patients, who apparently need consistent long-term anticoagulation and more medical attention.

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