Journal Article

Long-term efficacy and safety of radiofrequency ablation in elderly patients with atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia

Jalila Kihel, Antoine Da Costa, Abdel Kihel, Cécile Roméyer-Bouchard, Jérôme Thévenin, Régis Gonthier, Bernard Samuel and Karl Isaaz

in EP Europace

Published on behalf of European Heart Rhythm Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC)

Volume 8, issue 6, pages 416-420
Published in print June 2006 | ISSN: 1099-5129
Published online May 2006 | e-ISSN: 1532-2092 | DOI:
Long-term efficacy and safety of radiofrequency ablation in elderly patients with atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia

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Aims The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy, risks, safety, and follow-up of radiofrequency (RF) catheter ablation of atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia (AVRNT) in patients (pts) ≥75 years old (n=42) (GpI) compared with pts younger than 75 years (n=234) (GpII).

Methods and results The study population consisted of 276 consecutive pts (39.5% men/60.5% women), from 15 to 98-year-old (average 56±17 years) with AVRNT referred for RF ablation (RFA) from October 1997 to January 2004. Combined anatomical and electrogram approaches were used to guide RFA. The cumulative risk of AVRNT recurrence was analysed by the Kaplan–Meier method and log-rank test. The average follow-up was 34±18 months. GpI (80±4 years) differed significantly from GpII (51±14 years) regarding: heart rate tachycardia (160±20 vs. 180±30 bpm; P=0.0001), the slow pathway antegrade refractory period (370±70 vs. 340±60 ms; P=0.01), the fast pathway antegrade refractory period (360±60 vs. 330±60 ms; P=0.003), retrograde refractory period (360±60 vs. 330±60 ms; P=0.0007), left ventricular ejection fraction (60±12 vs. 65±7%; P=0.0009), and ischaemic ECG signs during tachycardia (76.2% vs. 61%; P=0.09). RFA was successfully obtained in 275/276 (99.6%), 42/42 in GpI (100%), and 233/234 (99.6%) in GpII. Five complications occurred (1.8%): major complications in two pts (0.7%) and minor complications in three pts (1.1%). Major complications were deep venous thrombosis with pulmonary embolus (n=1) and pericardial effusion (n=1), minor complications were groin haematoma (n=3). One complication was observed in GpI (groin haematoma) (2.4%) and four in GpII (deep venous thrombosis with pulmonary embolus in one, groin haematoma in two, and pericardial effusion in one) (1.7%). The number of recurrences was not statistically different between the two groups (0 vs. 3.4%; P=0.5) with a respective average follow-up of 28±18 and 35±18 months, respectively.

Conclusion Catheter ablation of AVRNT in elderly and very elderly pts appears to be a reasonable approach regarding feasibility and effectiveness without increasing the risk of AV block.

Keywords: AVRNT; Elderly; Catheter ablation; Geriatrics

Journal Article.  3051 words. 

Subjects: Cardiovascular Medicine

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