The learning curve for radiofrequency ablation of tachyarrhythmias in pediatric patients

David A. Danford, John D. Kugler, Barbara Deal, Christopher Case, Richard A. Friedman, J. Philip Saul, Michael J. Silka, George F. Van Hare, members of the Pediatric Electrophysiology Society Participating members of the Pediatric Electrophysiology Society

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


The results of radiofrequency ablation for treatment of supraventricular tachyarrhythmias have been reported to improve with increasing experience; however, the precise nature of the learning curve in children is unknown. From November 1990 to October 1993, 1,546 consecutive procedures from the Pediatric Radiofrequency Ablation Registry were categorized into deciles based on number of prior pediatric procedures at the submitting institution. Negative exponential models were tested for strength of relation between volume of prior experience and 4 measures of outcome: success rate, complication rate, fluoroscopy time, and procedure time. Negative exponential curves described the experience-outcome relations well (r = 0.81 to 0.97). Learning rates were most rapid for successful ablation of left free wall accessory pathways, and slowest for right free wall pathway ablation. These models suggest that, given enough experience, procedural success rates >90% (regardless of pathway location) and fluoroscopy and procedure times averaging <40 minutes and 250 minutes, respectively, can be achieved in pediatric patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-590
Number of pages4
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 15 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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