Health technology reviews

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Catheter ablation procedures for supraventricular tachyarrhythmia (SVTA) including atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation

Status: Decision completed

View findings and decision

Policy context

Catheter ablation is a procedure used to treat some types of heart arrhythmias (variations from a normal heartbeat). The procedure is typically performed in a catheter lab and involves guided insertion of catheters from the arm, groin, or neck through the blood vessel and into the heart. In radiofrequency catheter ablation, radiofrequency energy is sent through the catheters to a focal point in the heart that is believed to be the source of the arrhythmia; this energy ablates (destroys) very small areas of the heart. Other types of catheter ablation are becoming available, such as cryoablation. Catheter ablation is most commonly used to treat tachyarrhythmias that originate above the ventricles.

Primary criteria ranking

  • Safety = Medium
  • Efficacy = High
  • Cost = High

Assessment timeline

  • Draft Key Questions Published: August 15, 2012
  • Public Comment Period: August 15 - August 31, 2012
  • Draft Report Published: March 5, 2013
  • Public Comment Period: March 5 - April 5, 2013
  • Final Report Published: April 15, 2013
  • HTCC Public Meeting: May 17, 2013