Aims: Catheter ablation is recommended for symptomatic WPW-syndrome. Commonly perceived low recurrence rates were challenged recently. We sought to identify patient strata at increased risk.
Method: Of 12,566 patients enrolled at 52 German Ablation Registry sites from 2007 to 2010, 789 were treated for WPW-syndrome. Patients were included for symptomatic palpitations and tachycardia documentation. Follow-up duration was one year. Overall complications were defined as serious, access-related, and ablation-related. We adjudicated WPW-recurrence for re-ablation during follow-up. Risk strata included: admission for repeat ablation at registry entry; accessory pathway localization; antiarrhythmic medical treatment before the ablation.
Results: WPW-syndrome patients were 42.8 ± 16.2 years on average; 39.9% were women. A majority of 95.9% was symptomatic; in 84.4%, a tachycardia was documented. Seventy-six (9.6%) patients presented for repeat procedures. Accessory pathways were located in the left atrium (71.4%), right atrium (21.1%), septum (4.4%), or coronary sinus diverticula (2.1%). Prior antiarrhythmic medication was used in 43.7% of patients. No serious events occurred. The overall complication rate was 2.5% (ablation related 1.2%, access-related 1.3%). Major determinants for complications were presentation for re-ablation as registry index procedure (6.9% vs 2.2%; p = 0.016) and septal pathway location (left 2.0% vs septal 9.1%, p = 0.014). The overall re-ablation rate was 9.7%. Usage of prior antiarrhythmic medication was associated with higher recurrence rates (12.2% vs. 7.6%; p = 0.035).
Conclusions: Patients at higher complication risk may be identified by repeat procedure and septal pathway location. Prior antiarrhythmic medication was associated with higher recurrence rates. Our findings may help improving peri-procedural patient management and information.
Keywords: Ablation; Complications; Recurrence; WPW-syndrome.
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