Multicenter Outcomes for Catheter Ablation of Idiopathic Premature Ventricular Complexes

JACC Clin Electrophysiol. 2015 Jun;1(3):116-123. doi: 10.1016/j.jacep.2015.04.005. Epub 2015 Apr 27.


Objectives: This study reports multicenter outcomes and complications for catheter ablation of premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) and investigates predictors of procedural success, as well as development of PVC-induced cardiomyopathy.

Background: Catheter ablation of frequent idiopathic PVCs is used to eliminate symptoms and treat PVC-induced cardiomyopathy. Large-scale multicenter outcomes and complication rates have not been reported.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study included 1,185 patients (55% female; mean age 52 ± 15 years; mean ejection fraction 55 ± 10%; mean PVC burden 20 ± 13%) who underwent catheter ablation for idiopathic PVCs at 8 centers between 2004 and 2013. The following factors were evaluated: patient demographics, procedural characteristics, complication rates, and clinical outcomes.

Results: Acute procedural success was achieved in 84% of patients. In centers at which patients were followed up routinely with post-ablation Holter monitoring, continued success at clinical follow-up without use of antiarrhythmic drugs was 71%. Including the use of antiarrhythmic medications, the success rate at a mean of 1.9 years of follow-up was 85%. In a multivariate analysis, the significant predictors of acute success were PVC location and number of distinct PVC configurations (p < 0.03). The only significant predictor of continued success at clinical follow-up was a right ventricular outflow tract PVC location (p < 0.01). In 245 patients (21%) with PVC-induced cardiomyopathy, the mean ejection fraction improved from 38% to 50% (p < 0.01) after ablation. Independent predictors for development of PVC-induced cardiomyopathy were male gender, PVC burden, lack of symptoms, and epicardial PVC origin (p < 0.05). The overall complication rate was 5.2% (2.4% major complications and 2.8% minor complications), and complications were most commonly related to vascular access (2.8%). There was no procedure-related mortality.

Conclusions: Catheter ablation of frequent PVCs is a low-risk and often effective treatment strategy to eliminate PVCs and associated symptoms. In patients with PVC-induced cardiomyopathy, cardiac function is frequently restored after successful ablation.

Keywords: ablation; cardiomyopathy; complications; outcomes; premature ventricular complexes.