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Association of age with clinical features and ablation outcomes of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardias


Objective The role of age in clinical characteristics and catheter ablation outcomes of atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia (AVNRT) or orthodromic atrioventricular re-entrant tachycardia (AVRT) has been assessed in retrospective studies categorising age by arbitrary cut-offs, but contemporary analyses of age-related trends are lacking. We aimed to study the relationship of age with epidemiological, clinical features and catheter ablation outcomes of AVNRT and AVRT.

Methods We recruited 600 patients (median age 56 years, 60% female) with a confirmed diagnosis of AVNRT (n=455) or AVRT (n=145) by means of an electrophysiological study. They were interrogated for arrhythmia-related symptoms with a structured questionnaire and followed up to 1 year. We analysed age as a continuous variable using regression models and adjusting for relevant covariables.

Results Both typical and atypical forms of AVNRT upraised with age while AVRT decreased (p<0.001 by regression). Female sex predominance in AVNRT was not observed in older patients. Overall, these tachycardias became more symptomatic with ageing despite a longer tachycardia cycle length (p<0.001) and regardless of the presence of structural heart disease, with a higher proportion of dizziness, syncope, chest pain or dyspnoea (p<0.005 for all) and a lower presence of palpitations or neck pounding (p<0.001 for both). Age was not associated with catheter ablation acute success, periprocedural complications or 1-year recurrence rates (p>0.05 for all).

Conclusions Age, evaluated as a continuous variable, had a significant association with the clinical profile of patients with AVNRT and AVRT. Nevertheless, catheter ablation outcomes and complications were not significantly related to patients’ age.

  • catheter ablation
  • tachycardia
  • supraventricular

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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