The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of radiofrequency ablation of supraventricular tachycardias due to a reentry circuit in a group of closely followed-up pediatric patients.
Forty-six pediatric patients (mean age 12.6 years, range 3-18) underwent a total of 48 radiofrequency ablation procedures for reciprocating supraventricular tachycardia. Thirty-nine had an orthodromic reentry tachycardia, 6 an atrioventricular node reentry tachycardia and 1 a permanent junctional reciprocating tachycardia.
To ablate the overt accessory pathways, the Kent potential (K) was identified and then the shortest A-K, and delta wave-K intervals were measured. The shortest V-A interval was identified for those concealed. For the left-sided accessory pathways, we used the retrograde transaortic approach in 10 procedures and the transseptal approach in 18. Atrioventricular node reentry tachycardia was ablated at the site where the slow-pathway electrogram was recorded. Follow-up clinical data, electrocardiogram, 24-hours Holter monitoring and transesophageal atrial stimulation were obtained and evaluated.
Early: We performed a total of 48 procedures. Among 41 procedures performed in the 39 patients with accessory pathway, 38 were successful (92,6%). Mean fluoroscopy time was 31 +/- 18 min. For left sided accessory pathways, mean fluoroscopy time of procedures with retrograde approach was 45 +/- 10 min and with transseptal 23 +/- 12 min (p < 0.01). Ablation of slow-pathway in patients with intranodal reentry tachycardia was successful in 3/6 cases (50%). The patient with permanent junctional reciprocating tachycardia was successfully ablated. Late: All patients are alive and none was lost during the follow-up after a mean time of 12.9 months (range 5-33). Success at last follow-up was 100% in patients with an accessory pathway and 33% in patients with atrioventricular node reentry. In patient with permanent junctional reciprocating tachycardia, the arrhythmia appeared again one month after the procedure, thus a second successful attempt was performed.
Major complications (6,5%) including a right femoral vein thrombosis (one patient), an hematoma without pulse loss (one patient) and a non-sustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardia (one patient).
Our data show high efficacy of radiofrequency ablation in pediatric patients with accessory pathways. The risks are low at follow-up evaluation, but might be helpful a longer-term follow-up in order to evaluate the risk of a long fluoroscopy time and the arrhythmogenic effect of the scar.