The Particulars: The current standard of care for ablation of left-sided accessory pathways in children with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome is a five-catheter approach. It has been hypothesized that using ECGs prior to ablation may allow clinicians to accurately predict the pathway location in WPW patients. In turn, this may allow for use of fewer catheters during ablation procedures.

Data Breakdown: Nearly 60 children with WPW who participated in a 4-year study were treated with catheter ablation. Half of the study group received a three-catheter approach using ECG before the procedure, while the other half underwent the traditional five-catheter approach. The three-catheter approach was associated with a 100% success rate and an average catheter cost of $1,940. This compared favorably to data for those receiving the traditional five-catheter approach, which was associated with a 96% success rate and average catheter cost of $2,620.

Take Home Pearl: A three-catheter approach to ablation in children with WPW appears to have similar safety and efficacy as the standard five-catheter approach, but with lower associated costs.