Aims Patients with well-tolerated sustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardia (SMVT) and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) over 30% may benefit from a primary strategy of VT ablation without immediate need for a 'back-up' implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). Methods and results One hundred and sixty-six patients with structural heart disease (SHD), LVEF over 30%, and well-tolerated SMVT (no syncope) underwent primary radiofrequency ablation without ICD implantation at eight European centres. There were 139 men (84%) with mean age 62 ± 15 years and mean LVEF of 50 ± 10%. Fifty-five percent had ischaemic heart disease, 19% non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy, and 12% arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. Three hundred seventy-eight similar patients were implanted with an ICD during the same period and serve as a control group. All-cause mortality was 12% (20 patients) over a mean follow-up of 32 ± 27 months. Eight patients (40%) died from non-cardiovascular causes, 8 (40%) died from non-arrhythmic cardiovascular causes, and 4 (20%) died suddenly (SD) (2.4% of the population). All-cause mortality in the control group was 12%. Twenty-seven patients (16%) had a non-fatal recurrence at a median time of 5 months, while 20 patients (12%) required an ICD, of whom 4 died (20%). Conclusion Patients with well-tolerated SMVT, SHD, and LVEF > 30% undergoing primary VT ablation without a back-up ICD had a very low rate of arrhythmic death and recurrences were generally non-fatal. These data would support a randomized clinical trial comparing this approach with others incorporating implantation of an ICD as a primary strategy.
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator
- Sudden death
- Ventricular tachycardia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine