Impact of specialized electrophysiological care on the outcome of catheter ablation for supraventricular tachycardias in adults with congenital heart disease: Independent risk factors and gender aspects

Heart Rhythm. 2021 Nov;18(11):1852-1859. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2021.07.009. Epub 2021 Jul 13.


Background: Limited data exist on the impact of gender and specialized care on the requirement of repeat treatment of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) in adult patients with congenital heart disease (ACHDs).

Objective: The study aimed to assess independent predictors of a combined end point of re-catheter ablation (CA) or cardioversion at 3 years of follow-up, including the impact of gender and specialized ACHD care.

Methods: All ACHDs registered in a database of one of the largest German health insurers (≈9.2 million members) who underwent CA for SVT were analyzed.

Results: Of 38,892 ACHDs 16 years or older, 485 (49.5% women; median age 58.4 years; interquartile range 42.1-70.8 years) underwent CA for SVT. Over 3-year follow-up, the number of yearly CA procedures increased significantly, particularly for atrial fibrillation (+195%) and atrial flutter (+108%). Moderate to severe complexity heart disease (odds ratio [OR] 1.66; P = .01), advanced age (OR 1.85 per year; P = .02), chronic kidney disease (OR 1.70; P = .01), and atrial fibrillation (OR 2.02; P = .002) emerged as independent predictors of retreatment. Retreatment was significantly less often performed if primary CA was carried out at a specialized CHD center (P = .009) in patients with moderate to severe complexity heart disease. Women treated in specialist centers had a 1.6-fold reduced risk of undergoing retreatment (P = .01).

Conclusion: CA for SVT is increasingly performed in ACHDs, especially for atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation. Patients with moderate and severe complexity congenital heart defects and female ACHDs benefit from upfront referral to specialized CHD centers for CA. Centralization of care for ACHD arrhythmias should thus be advocated.

Keywords: Atrial arrhythmia; Congenital heart disease; Electrophysiology; Specialized care; Supraventricular tachycardia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Catheter Ablation / methods*
  • Electric Countershock
  • Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reoperation
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / surgery*