Heart Institute

Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) Ablation Success Rate at the Heart Institute


What are SVT and ablation?

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is an abnormally fast heart rate (that is different from the fast rates seen with exercise). The fast heart rate episodes are recurrent and can be life threatening.

Depending on the specific type of SVT, a specialty-trained pediatric cardiologist (also known as a pediatric electrophysiologist) can perform an electrophysiology procedure called an ablation. During this catheterization procedure, doctors try to get rid of the abnormal electrical pathway that causes SVT by using heat or cold to cure the abnormally fast heartbeat.

What is an SVT ablation success rate?

The "SVT ablation success rate" is defined as the percentage of patients with structurally normal heart anatomy who are free of SVT after the ablation procedure.

Why do we measure our SVT ablation success rate?

By measuring our success rate, we identify ways to improve patient care both at our hospital and nationally. This particular quality measure helps us to continually evaluate our effectiveness at treating SVT.

Our performance continues to be excellent

From 2011 through 2013, the electrophysiology team performed 337 ablation procedures and consistently had a very high success rate in curing SVT. In 2013, 98% of patients treated with the ablation procedure at Children's Colorado no longer experienced SVT. Our success rate is better than the national benchmark of 93%.

SVT Ablation Graph

How has the Heart Institute at Children's Colorado been able to improve our SVT ablation rate?

As we constantly work to improve patient care, it is important to measure our team's performance and patient outcomes. Here are a few things we're doing to improve care at the Heart Institute:

  • In the treatment of SVT, we use advanced imaging techniques that allow us to precisely locate the cause of the abnormal heart beat and identify a course of treatment. This allows us to treat our patients in the safest, most effective way possible.
  • We use new technology and advances to improve how treatments are provided. By using advanced imaging techniques, we are also able to minimize the amount of exposure to radiation that occurs during the catheterization procedure.
  • Our team consists of specialized physicians, anesthesiologists, nurses and lab technicians. Before every procedure, we review patient information and the course of treatment. This helps us ensure that all members of the team understand and are in agreement with the procedure being performed. After every procedure, we debrief as a team, to ensure that each aspect of the procedure is reviewed and any areas of potential improvement are addressed.

At the Heart Institute, our goal is to relentlessly pursue excellent care for every patient. To achieve this goal, we consistently measure our performance, seek and provide new innovations for treatment and hone processes for each step of patient care.

About this data

What is the source of this data?

The electrophysiology team maintains an internal database and compares Children's Hospital Colorado data to data from a national database collected by the Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES).

Do we have a national benchmark?

Yes. According to data from the Prospective Assessment after Pediatric Cardiac Ablation study, 93% of ablation catheterization procedures successfully treat SVT. In 2013, Children's Colorado was above the national benchmark at 98%.

How often will this data be updated?

Our internal database is updated frequently. Results of our SVT success rates will be updated on a regular basis on this website.