Symptomatic arrhythmias after catheter ablation of atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT): results from the German Ablation Registry

  • Maura M. Zylla
  • Johannes Brachmann
  • Thorsten Lewalter
  • Karl-Heinz Kuck
  • Dietrich Andresen
  • Stephan Willems
  • Stefan G. Spitzer
  • Florian Straube
  • Burghard Schumacher
  • Lars Eckardt
  • Matthias Hochadel
  • Jochen Senges
  • Hugo A. Katus
  • Dierk ThomasEmail author
Original Paper



In atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT), catheter ablation is considered as first-line therapy. Despite high success rates, some patients present with arrhythmia recurrence or develop other types of arrhythmias over time.


To assess the incidence of symptomatic arrhythmias after initially successful AVNRT ablation and to analyze their clinical implications in a real-world cohort.


We included 2,795 patients from the German Ablation Registry undergoing first ablation of AVNRT between 01/2007 and 01/2010. In patients alive at long-term follow-up, patient-specific characteristics and long-term follow-up data were compared between patients with (group A) and without (group B) any symptomatic arrhythmia during follow-up.


Symptomatic arrhythmias occurred in 17.2% of patients during a mean follow-up of 678 days after AVNRT ablation. The patients with symptomatic arrhythmias were more often female and suffered from structural heart disease. Arrhythmia occurrence was clinically relevant regarding symptoms and patient satisfaction. Serious adverse events including stroke, transient ischemic attack, pacemaker implantation, as well as continued use of antiarrhythmic medication occurred more often in group A. A second ablation procedure was performed in 26% of symptomatic patients to optimize the symptomatic outcome, whereas cardiovascular events or patient satisfaction were not further improved.


During long-term follow-up, one out of six patients experienced symptomatic arrhythmias after AVNRT ablation, associated with an increase of serious adverse events. A subset of patients required medical or interventional antiarrhythmic therapy, possibly attributable to the co-existence of other arrhythmias. Screening for arrhythmic and cardiac co-morbidity before and after ablation may support comprehensive therapy planning and outcome.


Catheter ablation AVNRT Complications Registry Long-term follow-up 



This work was supported by an unrestricted grant from the Stiftung Institut fuer Herzinfarktforschung, Germany. The long-term follow-up and a prior publication were partially supported by unrestricted grants from Medtronic, Biosense Webster, and Biotronik.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

D.T. reports receiving lecture fees/honoraria from Bayer Vital, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Daiichi Sankyo, Medtronic, Pfizer Pharma, Sanofi-Aventis, St. Jude Medical and ZOLL CMS. T.L. reports receiving modest honoraria for lectures by Medtronic, Biotronik, Abbott, Boston Scientific. S.G.S. reports receiving lecture fees from, Medtronic, BMS, Edwards, Pfizer and Sanofi-Aventis, as well as lecture honoraria and travel support from Abbott within the last 24 months. F.S. reports honoraria for lectures from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Daichii Sankyo, I-Med-Pro, Korese, Medtronic, wikonet GmbH, educational and travel support by Pfizer, as well as advisory board activities for Boehringer Ingelheim (last 24 months and outside the submitted work). L.E. reports consultant fees, speaking honoraria, and travel expenses from Abbott, Bayer, Biosense Webster, Biotronik, Boehringer Ingelheim, Boston Scientific, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Daiichi Sankyo, Medtronic, Pfizer, and Sanofi-Aventis. L.E.’s research has been supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and German Heart Foundation outside the submitted work. J.S. and M.H. state that the long-term follow-up and a prior publications were partially supported by unrestricted grants from Medtronic, Biosense Webster and Biotronik.

Supplementary material

Supplementary file1 (PDF 21 kb)


  1. 1.
    Katritsis DG, Zografos T, Katritsis GD, Giazitzoglou E, Vachliotis V, Paxinos G, Camm AJ, Josephson ME (2017) Catheter ablation vs. antiarrhythmic drug therapy in patients with symptomatic atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia: a randomized, controlled trial. Europace 19:602–606. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Page RL, Joglar JA, Caldwell MA et al (2016) 2015 ACC/AHA/HRS guideline for the management of adult patients with supraventricular tachycardia: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines and the Heart Rhythm Society. Heart Rhythm 13:e136–e221. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hoffmann BA, Brachmann J, Andresen D, Eckardt L, Hoffmann E, Kuck KH, Schumacher B, Spitzer SG, Schirdewahn P, Tebbenjohanns J, Horack M, Senges J, Salukhe TV, Rostock T, Willems S (2011) Ablation of atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia in the elderly: results from the German Ablation Registry. Heart Rhythm 8:981–987. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Reents T, Jilek C, Schuster P, Nölker G, Koch-Büttner K, Ammar-Busch S, Semmler V, Bourier F, Kottmaier M, Kornmayer M, Brooks S, Fichtner S, Kolb C, Deisenhofer I, Hessling G (2017) Multicenter, randomized comparison between magnetically navigated and manually guided radiofrequency ablation of atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (the MagMa-AVNRT-trial). Clin Res Cardiol 106:947–952. 28849269 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brembilla-Perrot B, Olivier A, Villemin T, Vincent J, Manenti V, Beurrier D, de la Chaise AT, Selton O, Louis P, de Chillou C, Sellal JM (2016) Prediction of atrial fibrillation in patients with supraventricular tachyarrhythmias treated with catheter ablation or not. Classical scores are not useful. Int J Cardiol 220:102–106. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kimman GP, Bogaard MD, van Hemel NM, van Dessel PF, Jessurun ER, Boersma LV, Wever EF, Theuns DA, Jordaens LJ (2005) Ten year follow-up after radiofrequency catheter ablation for atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia in the early days forever cured, or a source for new arrhythmias? Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 28:1302–1309. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ozcan C, Strom JB, Newell JB, Mansour MC, Ruskin JN (2014) Incidence and predictors of atrial fibrillation and its impact on long-term survival in patients with supraventricular arrhythmias. Europace 16:1508–1514. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fink T, Metzner A, Willems S, Eckardt L, Ince H, Brachmann J, Spitzer SG, Deneke T, Schmitt C, Hochadel M, Senges J, Rillig A (2019) Procedural success, safety and patients satisfaction after second ablation of atrial fibrillation in the elderly: results from the German Ablation Registry. Clin Res Cardiol. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Frommeyer G, Brachmann J, Ince H, Spitzer SG, Thomas D, Willems S, Schumacher B, Schirdewahn P, Lewalter T, Hochadel M, Senges J, Eckardt L (2019) Digitalis therapy is associated with higher comorbidities and poorer prognosis in patients undergoing ablation of atrial arrhythmias: data from the German Ablation Registry. Clin Res Cardiol. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Eitel C, Ince H, Brachmann J, Kuck KH, Willems S, Gerds-Li JH, Tebbenjohanns J, Richardt G, Hochadel M, Senges J, Tilz RR (2019) Atrial fibrillation ablation strategies and outcome in patients with heart failure: insights from the German ablation registry. Clin Res Cardiol 108:815–823. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Brachmann J, Lewalter T, Kuck KH, Andresen D, Willems S, Spitzer SG, Straube F, Schumacher B, Eckardt L, Danilovic D, Thomas D, Hochadel M, Senges J (2017) Long-term symptom improvement and patient satisfaction following catheter ablation of supraventricular tachycardia: insights from the German ablation registry. Eur Heart J 38:1317–1326. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Deisenhofer I, Zrenner B, Yin YH et al (2010) (2010) Cryoablation versus radiofrequency energy for the ablation of atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (the CYRANO Study): results from a large multicenter prospective randomized trial. Circulation 122:2239–2245. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Wasmer K, Dechering DG, Köbe J, Leitz P, Frommeyer G, Lange PS, Kochhäuser S, Reinke F, Pott C, Mönnig G, Breithardt G, Eckardt L (2017) Patients' and procedural characteristics of AV-block during slow pathway modulation for AVNRT-single center 10year experience. Int J Cardiol 244:158–162. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Santangeli P, Proietti R, Di Biase L, Bai R, Natale A (2014) Cryoablation versus radiofrequency ablation of atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia. J Interv Card Electrophysiol 39:111–119. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Feldman A, Voskoboinik A, Kumar S, Spence S, Morton JB, Kistler PM, Sparks PB, Vohra JK, Kalman JM (2011) Predictors of acute and long-term success of slow pathway ablation for atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia: a single center series of 1,419 consecutive patients. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 34:927–933. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Brembilla-Perrot B, Sellal JM, Olivier A, Manenti V, Beurrier D, de Chillou C, Villemin T, Girerd N (2015) Recurrences of symptoms after AV node re-entrant tachycardia ablation: a clinical arrhythmia risk score to assess putative underlying cause. Int J Cardiol 179:292–296. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hasdemir C, Payzin S, Kocabas U, Sahin H, Yildirim N, Alp A, Aydin M, Pfeiffer R, Burashnikov E, Wu Y, Antzelevitch C (2015) High prevalence of concealed Brugada syndrome in patients with atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia. Heart Rhythm 12:1584–1594. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Farkowski MM, Pytkowski M, Maciag A, Golicki D, Wood KA, Kowalik I, Kuteszko R, Szwed H (2014) Gender-related differences in outcomes and resource utilization in patients undergoing radiofrequency ablation of supraventricular tachycardia: results from Patients' Perspective on Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation of AVRT and AVNRT Study. Europace 16:1821–1827. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Zylla MM, Brachmann J, Lewalter T, Hoffmann E, Kuck KH, Andresen D, Willems S, Eckardt L, Tebbenjohanns J, Spitzer SG, Schumacher B, Hochadel M, Senges J, Katus HA, Thomas D (2016) Sex-related outcome of atrial fibrillation ablation: Insights from the German Ablation Registry. Heart Rhythm 13:1837–1844. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Patel D, Mohanty P, Di Biase L et al (2010) Outcomes and complications of catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation in females. Heart Rhythm 7:167–172. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Roten L, Rimoldi SF, Schwick N, Sakata T, Heimgartner C, Fuhrer J, Delacrétaz E, Tanner H (2009) Gender differences in patients referred for atrial fibrillation management to a tertiary center. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 32:622–626. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maura M. Zylla
    • 1
    • 2
  • Johannes Brachmann
    • 3
  • Thorsten Lewalter
    • 4
  • Karl-Heinz Kuck
    • 5
  • Dietrich Andresen
    • 6
    • 14
  • Stephan Willems
    • 5
    • 7
  • Stefan G. Spitzer
    • 8
    • 9
  • Florian Straube
    • 10
  • Burghard Schumacher
    • 11
    • 15
  • Lars Eckardt
    • 12
  • Matthias Hochadel
    • 13
  • Jochen Senges
    • 13
  • Hugo A. Katus
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dierk Thomas
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of CardiologyMedical University HospitalHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.DZHK (German Centre for Cardiovascular Research), Partner Site Heidelberg/MannheimUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  3. 3.Department of CardiologyHospital CoburgCoburgGermany
  4. 4.Klinik für Kardiologie und Internistische IntensivmedizinPeter-Osypka Herzzentrum, Internistisches Klinikum München SüdMunichGermany
  5. 5.Department of CardiologyAsklepios Hospital St. GeorgHamburgGermany
  6. 6.Department of CardiologyVivantes Hospital, Klinikum Am UrbanBerlinGermany
  7. 7.Department of Cardiology/ElectrophysiologyUniversity Heart CenterHamburgGermany
  8. 8.Praxisklinik Herz und GefäßeAkademische Lehrpraxisklinik der TU DresdenDresdenGermany
  9. 9.Institute of Medical TechnologyBrandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-SenftenbergSenftenbergGermany
  10. 10.Department of Cardiology/Intensive Care MedicineHeart Center Munich-BogenhausenMunichGermany
  11. 11.Department of CardiologyHerz- und GefäßklinikBad Neustadt/SaaleGermany
  12. 12.Division of Electrophysiology, Department of Cardiovascular MedicineUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany
  13. 13.Stiftung Institut für Herzinfarktforschung, IHFLudwigshafenGermany
  14. 14.Evangelisches Krankenhaus HubertusBerlinGermany
  15. 15.2nd Department of MedicineWestpfalz-KlinikumKaiserslauternGermany

Personalised recommendations