1 Section of Surgery and Internal Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet3 unknown4 Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
European Heart Rhythm Association survey
The aims of this survey was to provide insight into treatment activity, the strategy of treatment, and risk stratification of patients with asymptomatic and symptomatic ventricular pre-excitation across Europe. Fifty-eight centres, members of the European Heart Rhythm Association EP research network, covering 20 countries answered the survey questions. All centres were high-volume ablation centres. A younger person with asymptomatic Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) pattern has a higher likelihood of being risk-stratified or receiving ablation therapy compared with an older subject. Two-thirds of centres report that they have observed a decline in the number of patients ablated for an accessory pathway during the last 10 years. Pre-excited atrial fibrillation is rarely seen. Discontinuation of a scheduled WPW ablation due to close vicinity of the accessory pathway to the AV node happens very rarely. Patients with a first episode of pre-excited atrial fibrillation would immediately be referred for catheter ablation to be performed within weeks by 80.4% of the centres. A significant proportion of responders (50.9%) would use electrical cardioversion to restore sinus rhythm in a patient with pre-excited atrial fibrillation. With respect to the choice of antiarrhythmic medication for a patient with pre-excited AF, the majority (80.0%) would choose class 1C antiarrhytmic drugs while waiting for a catheter ablation. A patient seen in the emergency room with a second episode of orthodromic atrioventricular reentry tachycardia would be referred for immediate ablation by 79.2-90.6% of centres depending on the presence of pre-excitation. The volume of paediatric ablations performed on children younger than 12 years was low (46.4%: 0 patients per year; 46.4%: 1-9 patients per year). The majority of responding centres (61-69%) report that their country lack national guidelines dealing with clinical strategies related to WPW. There is a need for national guidelines dealing with clinical strategy in patients with WPW syndrome. Older individuals with asymptomatic WPW pattern have a higher risk of not receiving risk stratification or curative therapy with ablation compared with younger patients, despite the higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation.