Ventricular tachycardia in infants with structurally normal heart: A benign disorder
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.Cardiology in the Young (Impact Factor: 0.84). 12/2010; 20(6):641-7. DOI: 10.1017/S1047951110000867
We evaluated the presentation, treatment, and outcome of infants who present with ventricular tachycardia in the first year of life. Seventy-six infants were admitted to our institution with a diagnosis of ventricular tachycardia between January, 1987 and May, 2006. Forty-five infants were excluded from the study because of additional confounding diagnoses including accelerated idioventricular rhythm, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, supraventricular tachycardia with aberrancy, long QT syndrome, cardiac rhabdomyoma, myocarditis, congenital lesions, or incomplete data. The remaining 31 included infants who had a median age at presentation of 1 day, with a range from 1 to 255 days, and a mean ventricular tachycardia rate of 213 beats per minute, with a range from 171 to 280, at presentation. The infants were treated chronically with propranolol (38.7%), amiodarone (12.9%), mexiletine (3.2%), propranolol and mexiletine (9.7%), or propranolol and procainamide (6.5%). The median duration of treatment was 13 months, with a range from 3 to 105 months. Ventricular tachycardia resolved spontaneously in all infants. No patient died, or received catheter ablation or device therapy. Median age at last ventricular tachycardia was 59 days, with a range from 1 to 836 days. Mean follow-up was 45 months, with a range from 5 to 164 months, with a mean ventricular tachycardia-free period of 40 months. Infants with asymptomatic ventricular tachycardia, a structurally normal heart, and no additional electrophysiological diagnosis all had spontaneous resolution of tachycardia. Furthermore, log-rank analysis of the time to ventricular tachycardia resolution showed no difference between children who received chronic outpatient anti-arrhythmic treatment and those who had no such therapy. While indications for therapy cannot be determined from this study, lack of symptoms or myocardial dysfunction suggests that therapy may not be necessary.
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ABSTRACT: Opinion statement: Arrhythmias are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children. Despite recent technological advances in treatment, pharmacologic therapy remains the most common treatment modality for pediatric arrhythmias. The choice of antiarrhythmic agent, the duration of therapy, and the dosing schedule depend on multiple factors including the recurrence risk and the arrhythmia burden (the latter being determined by the hemodynamic effect of the arrhythmia), and the frequency and duration of episodes. As with all pediatric medications, consideration must be given to the drug formulation, palatability, adverse effects and adherence issues. There are very few randomized trials available to guide the choice of therapy for pediatric arrhythmias, and thus treatment options often reflect physician or institutional preferences. Although various classification schemes exist, we classify antiarrhythmic agents based on their primary site of action: atrial muscle/accessory pathway (class IA, IC, and III agents); the atrioventricular node (beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, digoxin, and class III agents); or ventricular muscle (class I and III agents). This type of categorization assists in the approach to treatment required for each type of arrhythmia encountered.
Article: Perinatal arrhythmias[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: Cardiac arrhythmias are very frequent in fetuses and newborns. The prognosis depends on the nature of the arrhythmias but is most often either spontaneously benign or following short-term medication administration. A correct diagnosis is essential for both management and prognosis. It is based on echocardiography during the fetal period and mainly on history, physical exam, and electrocardiogram after birth, but other modalities are available to record transient arrhythmic events. Irregular rhythms are mostly benign and rarely require therapy. In most fetuses and infants, tachyarrhythmias resolve spontaneously or require short-term administration of antiarrhythmics. Approximately one third of these may recur later on, especially during adolescence. Persistent bradyarrhythmias might require pacemaker implantation when associated with failure to thrive or with risk of sudden death. Conclusion: Arrhythmias in fetuses and infants are very common and mostly benign. History, physical exam, and recording of the arrhythmia are essential to make a correct diagnosis and establish an appropriate management for the rare potentially harmful arrhythmias.
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