Ablation of Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Moisés Rodríguez-Mañero, Bahij Kreidieh, Mahmoud Al Rifai, Sergio Ibarra-Cortez, Paul Schurmann, Paulino A. Álvarez, Xesús Alberte Fernández-López, Javier García-Seara, Luis Martínez-Sande, José Ramón González-Juanatey, Miguel Valderrábano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objectives The goal of this study was to describe short- and long-term outcomes in all patients referred for inappropriate sinus tachycardia ablation, along with the potential complications of the intervention. Background Sinus node (SN) ablation/modification has been proposed for patients refractory to pharmacological therapy. However, available data derive from limited series. Methods The electronic databases MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane, and Scopus were systematically searched (January 1, 1995–December 31, 2015). Studies were screened according to predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results A total of 153 patients were included. Their mean age was 35.18 ± 10.02 years, and 139 (90.8%) were female. All patients had failed to respond to maximum tolerated doses of pharmacological therapy (3.5 ± 2.4 drugs). Mean baseline heart rates averaged 101.3 ± 16.4 beats/min according to electrocardiography and 104.5 ± 13.5 beats/min according to 24-h Holter monitoring. Two electrophysiological strategies were used, SN ablation and SN modification, with the latter being used more. Procedural acute success (using variably defined pre-determined endpoints) was 88.9%. Consistently, all groups reported high-output pacing from the ablation catheter to confirm absence of phrenic nerve stimulation before radiofrequency delivery. Need of pericardial access varied between 0% and 76.9%. Thirteen patients (8.5%) experienced severe procedural complications, and 15 patients (9.8%) required implantation of a pacemaker. At a mean follow-up interval of 28.1 ± 12.6 months, 86.4% of patients demonstrated successful outcomes. The symptomatic recurrence rate was 19.6%, and 29.8% of patients continued to receive antiarrhythmic drug therapy after procedural intervention. Conclusions Inappropriate sinus tachycardia ablation/modification achieves acute success in the vast majority of patients. Complications are fairly common and diverse. However, symptomatic relief decreases substantially over longer follow-up periods, with a corresponding high recurrence rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-265
Number of pages13
JournalJACC: Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • inappropriate sinus tachycardia
  • sinus node ablation
  • sinus node modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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