Radiofrequency ablation in children and adolescents: results in 154 consecutive patients

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The experience of using radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for the treatment of arrhythmias in children and adolescents is still limited. This study aimed to review the most recent results of RF ablation in children and adolescents in a highly experienced centre with access to both conventional techniques and non-fluoroscopic electroanatomic mapping (CARTO).

Methods and results

A total of 154 consecutive patients younger than 19 years treated with RFA during the period 2000–04 were included. Numbers (%) or median (quartiles) are reported. Age was 15 (12–17) years, 70 (45%) were males. Five patients (3%) had congenital heart disease. RFA was successful in 147/154 patients (95%). Arrhythmia recurrence occurred in 11 patients (7%). Procedure time was 55 (35–90) min and fluoroscopy time was 8.8 (4–19) min. Number of RF applications was 4 (2–10) and number of RF applications >20 s was 2 (1–7). One patient (0.7%) had complicating high-grade atrioventricular block. CARTO was used in 18 RF ablation procedures (11%) performed in 15 patients.


RF ablation can be undertaken in children and adolescents with a high success rate, few recurrences and complications, very short procedure times, and acceptable fluoroscopy times. Non-fluoroscopic electroanatomic mapping is helpful in selected patients.

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