Early Versus Late Referral for Catheter Ablation of Ventricular Tachycardia in Patients With Structural Heart Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Outcomes

Jorge Romero, Luigi Di Biase, Juan Carlos Diaz, Renato Quispe, Xianfeng Du, David Briceno, Ricardo Avendano, Usha Tedrow, Roy M. John, Gregory F. Michaud, Andrea Natale, William G. Stevenson, Saurabh Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Objectives: This was a meta-analysis of published studies to examine the impact of early referral on outcomes after catheter ablation for ventricular tachycardia (VT) in patients with structural heart disease. Background: Patients are frequently referred for VT ablation after failure of antiarrhythmic drugs to control VT. Some studies have suggested that early referral might confer better outcomes. Methods: An electronic search was performed using major databases. The primary outcomes were long-term VT recurrence and total mortality. Secondary outcomes were acute procedural success and acute complications. Results: Three studies were included with a total of 980 patients (mean age 64 ± 12 years, 71% males). Mean follow-up was 29 ± 27 months. Early referral for VT ablation was associated with decreased VT recurrence and acute complications compared with late referral (relative risk: 0.69 [95% confidence interval: 0.58 to 0.82], p < 0.0001 and relative risk: 0.50 [95% confidence interval: 0.27 to 0.93], p = 0.03, respectively). There was no significant difference between early and late referral for total mortality and acute success. Conclusions: Late referral for VT ablation was associated with worse outcomes (VT recurrence and acute complications) in patients with structural heart disease, which suggests that early referral for VT ablation might be a reasonable consideration in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-382
Number of pages9
JournalJACC: Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018



  • VT recurrence
  • acute complications
  • antiarrhythmic drugs
  • catheter ablation
  • early referral
  • ischemic cardiomyopathy
  • mortality
  • nonischemic cardiomyopathy
  • ventricular tachycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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