Incidence and predictors of major complications from contemporary catheter ablation to treat cardiac arrhythmias

M Bohnen
W G. Stevenson
U B. Tedrow
G F. Michaud
R M. John
L M. Epstein, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
C M. Albert
B A. Koplan


Background: Updated understanding of the risks of catheter ablation is important because techniques have evolved for procedures treating nonlife-threatening as well as potentially lethal arrhythmias. Objective: This prospective study sought to assess the incidence and predictors of major complications from contemporary catheter ablation procedures at a high-volume center. Methods: Over a 2-year period, 1,676 consecutive ablation procedures were prospectively evaluated for major complications throughout 30 days postprocedure. Predictors of major complications were determined in a multivariate analysis adjusted for demographics, clinical variables, ablation type, and procedural factors. Results: Rates of major complications differed between procedure types, ranging from 0.8% for supraventricular tachycardia, 3.4% for idiopathic ventricular tachycardia (VT), 5.2% for atrial fibrillation (AF), and 6.0% for VT associated with structural heart disease (SHD). Ablation type (ablation for AF [odds ratio (OR) 5.53, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.81 to 16.83], for VT with SHD [OR 8.61, 95% CI 2.37 to 31.31], or for idiopathic VT [OR 5.93, 95% CI 1.40 to 25.05] all referenced to supraventricular tachycardia ablation), and serum creatinine level >1.5 mg/dl (OR 2.48, 95% CI 1.07 to 5.76) were associated with increased adjusted risk of major complications, whereas age, gender, body mass index, international normalized ratio level, hypertension, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and prior cerebrovascular accident were not associated with increased risk. Conclusion: In a large cohort of contemporary catheter ablation, major complication rates ranged between 0.8% and 6.0% depending on the ablation procedure performed. Aside from ablation type, renal insufficiency was the only independent predictor of a major complication. © 2011 Heart Rhythm Society. All rights reserved.