Aim of this study was to compare a minimally fluoroscopic radiofrequency catheter ablation with conventional fluoroscopy-guided ablation for supraventricular tachycardias (SVTs) in terms of ionizing radiation exposure for patient and operator and to estimate patients' lifetime attributable risks associated with such exposure.Methods and results
We performed a prospective, multicentre, randomized controlled trial in six electrophysiology (EP) laboratories in Italy. A total of 262 patients undergoing EP studies for SVT were randomized to perform a minimally fluoroscopic approach (MFA) procedure with the EnSiteTMNavXTM navigation system or a conventional approach (ConvA) procedure. The MFA was associated with a significant reduction in patients' radiation dose (0 mSv, iqr 0–0.08 vs. 8.87 mSv, iqr 3.67–22.01; P < 0.00001), total fluoroscopy time (0 s, iqr 0–12 vs. 859 s, iqr 545–1346; P < 0.00001), and operator radiation dose (1.55 vs. 25.33 µS per procedure; P < 0.001). In the MFA group, X-ray was not used at all in 72% (96/134) of cases. The acute success and complication rates were not different between the two groups (P = ns). The reduction in patients' exposure shows a 96% reduction in the estimated risks of cancer incidence and mortality and an important reduction in estimated years of life lost and years of life affected. Based on economic considerations, the benefits of MFA for patients and professionals are likely to justify its additional costs.Conclusion
This is the first multicentre randomized trial showing that a MFA in the ablation of SVTs dramatically reduces patients' exposure, risks of cancer incidence and mortality, and years of life affected and lost, keeping safety and efficacy.Trial registration
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01132274.