Meta-analysis of ablation of atrial flutter and supraventricular tachycardia

Am J Cardiol. 2009 Sep 1;104(5):671-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2009.04.040.


The purpose of this study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the safety and efficacy of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of typical atrial flutter (AFL) and atrioventricular node-dependent supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) in adult patients. Medline and EMBASE were searched (1990 to 2007) for all study design trials of RFA. Data relating to single- and multiple-procedure success, arrhythmia recurrence, repeat ablation, adverse events, and death were extracted. For RFA in AFL, 18 primary studies with 22 treatment arms and 1,323 patients were identified. Single-procedure success for AFL was 91.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 88.4% to 94.9%). Multiple-procedure success was 97.0% (95% CI 94.7% to 99.4%). Postablation arrhythmia was noted in 13.2% of patients (95% CI 7.5% to 18.9%), while repeat ablation was reported in 8% (95% CI 4.5% to 11.4%). For RFA of SVT, 39 primary studies with 49 treatment arms in 7,693 patients with accessory pathways and atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia were identified. Single-procedure success for SVT was 93.2% (95% CI 90.8% to 95.5%). Multiple-procedure success was 94.6% (95% CI 92.4% to 96.9). Postablation arrhythmia was noted in 5.6% patients (95% CI 4.1% to 7.2%). Repeat ablation occurred in 6.5% (95% CI 4.7% to 8.3%). For AFL studies, all-cause mortality was 0.6%, and adverse events were reported in 0.5% of patients. For SVT studies, all-cause mortality was 0.1%, and adverse events were reported in 2.9% of patients. In conclusion, studies of RFA for the treatment of patients with AFL and SVT report high efficacy rates and low rates of complications.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Flutter / surgery*
  • Catheter Ablation* / mortality
  • Humans
  • Tachycardia, Atrioventricular Nodal Reentry / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome