Idiopathic Ventricular Tachycardia: Is Radiofrequency Ablation the First Line Therapy?

  • D. J. Callans
Conference paper


The development and refinement of catheter based ablative techniques has had a remarkable effect on the treatment of many types of arrhythmias. The impact of catheter ablation has been favorably compared to that of penicillin for the treatment of pneumococcal pneumonia [1]. Advances in these techniques have essentially eliminated the need for arrhythmia surgery (except for atrial fibrillation), a field that was vigorous only 15 years ago. At the same time, confidence in the use of antiarrhythmic drugs has suffered as our awareness of the cardiac and non-cardiac side effects of such therapy has grown. Clinical trial experience in treating arrhythmias ranging from ventricular tachycardia (VT) in structural heart disease (such as the Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial [2]) to atrial fibrillation in patients largely without structural heart disease (such as the AFFIRM Trial [3]) has consistently demonstrated the potential survival disadvantage conferred by antiarrhythmic drug therapy. These considerations, coupled with the lack of complete efficacy of drug therapy, have led to a further increase in enthusiasm for nonpharmacologic treatment strategies.


Ventricular Tachycardia Structural Heart Disease Right Ventricular Outflow Tract Idiopathic Ventricular Tachycardia Purkinje Network 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. J. Callans
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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