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Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2008 Aug;1(3):153-61. doi: 10.1161/CIRCEP.108.769471. Epub 2008 Jun 6.

Ventricular tachycardia ablation: evolution of patients and procedures over 8 years.

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Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



Evolving management of coronary artery disease, heart failure, and the use of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators impacts the characteristics of patients with recurrent ventricular tachycardia (VT). We investigated the substrate, procedure, and outcome evolution of all patients referred for VT ablation during the past 8 years.


From 1999 to 2006, 493 consecutive patients (358 male, 57+/-16 years) underwent 623 VT ablations: 131 had no structural heart disease (SHD), 213 had ischemic cardiomyopathies (ICMP), and 149 had nonischemic cardiomyopathies (NICMP). Although the main substrate is ICMP, the proportion of NICMP has increased from 27% to 35% (P=0.06) from 1999-2002 to the 2003-2006. The procedure abolished or modified inducible VTs in > or =75% of patients in all groups, but abolition of all monomorphic VTs was achieved in 125 (83%) patients without SHD, 180 (65%) with ICMP, and 99 (51%) with NICMP (P<0.0001). During a mean follow-up of 3.3+/-2.4 years, no deaths occurred in patients without SHD, but 75 patients (35%) with ICMP and 26 patients (17%) with NICMP died after a median of 13 months. Multivariate Cox regression analysis found that age, ejection fraction, and need for preprocedural mechanical hemodynamic support predicted mortality.


The substrate causing VT in patients requiring ablation is evolving and determines the long-term outcome. In the setting of a normal heart, VT ablation is associated with a low risk of subsequent mortality, with no deaths occurring during a mean follow-up of >3 years. In contrast, in patients with SHD and recurrent VT, VT ablation can be helpful to suppress drug refractory VT, but long-term mortality remains significant.

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