Aims: There has been large variations in the use of invasive electrophysiological therapies in the member countries of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The aim of this analysis was to provide comprehensive information on cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) and catheter ablation therapy trends in the ESC countries over the last five years.
Methods: The European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) has collected data on CIED and catheter ablation therapy since 2008. Last year 49 of the 56 ESC member countries provided data for the EHRA White Book. This analysis is based on the current and previous editions of the EHRA White Book. Data on procedure rates together with information on economic aspects, local reimbursement systems and training activities are presented for each ESC country and the five geographical ESC regions.
Results: In 2013, the electrophysiological procedure rates per million population were highest in Western Europe followed by the Southern and Northern European countries. The CIED implantation and catheter ablation rate was lowest in the Eastern European and in the non-European ESC countries, respectively. However, in some Eastern European countries with relative low gross domestic product procedure rates exceeded those of some wealthier Western countries, suggesting that economic resources are not the only driver for utilization of arrhythmia therapies.
Conclusion: These statistics indicate that despite significant improvements, there still is considerable heterogeneity in the availability of arrhythmia therapies across the ESC area. Hopefully, these data will help identify areas for improvement and guide future activities in cardiac arrhythmia management.
Keywords: Atrial fibrillation ablation; Cardiac resynchronization pacemaker (CRT-P); Cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D); Catheter ablation; Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD); Pacemaker.
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