Background: We investigated the impact of catheter ablation on ventricular tachycardia (VT) recurrence and survival in a large number of patients with structural heart disease treated in the setting of a dedicated multiskilled unit.
Methods and results: Since January 2007, we have implemented a multidisciplinary model, aiming for a comprehensive management of VT patients. Programmed ventricular stimulation was used to assess acute outcome. Primary end points were VT recurrence and the occurrence of cardiac and sudden cardiac death. Overall, 528 patients were treated by ablation (634 procedures; 1-4 procedures per patient). Among 482 tested with programmed ventricular stimulation after the last procedure, a class A result (noninducibility of any VT) was obtained in 371 patients (77%), class B (inducibility of nondocumented VT) in 12.4%, and class C (inducibility of index VT) in 10.6%. After a median follow-up time of 26 months, VT recurred in 164 (34.1%) of 472 patients. VT recurrence was documented in 28.6% of patients with a class A result versus 39.6% of patients with class B and 66.7% with class C result (log-rank P<0.001). The incidence of cardiac mortality was lower in class A patients than in those with class B and class C (8.4% versus 18.5% versus 22%, respectively; log-rank P=0.002). On the basis of multivariate analysis, postprocedural inducibility of index VT was independently associated both with VT recurrence (hazard ratio, 4.030; P<0.001) and with cardiac mortality (hazard ratio, 2.099; P=0.04).
Conclusions: Within a dedicated VT unit, catheter ablation prevents long-term VT recurrences, which may favorably affect survival in a large number of patients who have VT.