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      Management of asymptomatic ventricular preexcitation

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          Abstract

          An incidental discovery of Wolff Parkinson White (WPW) pattern on the electrocardiogram (ECG) is not an infrequent finding facing the physician. Most patients discovered incidentally are asymptomatic and it is hard to justify further management of such patients given the time-honored adage to “first do no harm.” However, this finding does have implications. This article is an attempt to guide clinicians about this important issue that is often faced in the office.

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          Most cited references 32

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          Ventricular fibrillation in the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.

          To examine the risk of ventricular fibrillation in patients with the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, we compared patients who had this syndrome and a history of ventricular fibrillation related to preexcitation with patients who had the syndrome without this history. Ventricular fibrillation occurred during atrial fibrillation, with rapid conduction over the accessory pathway, and these patients had a higher prevalence of both reciprocating tachycardia and atrial fibrillation (14 of 25 vs. 18 of 73, P = 0.004) and multiple accessory pathways (five of 25 vs. four of 73, P = 0.012). The shortest preexcitation R-R interval during atrial fibrillation was less in the group with ventricular fibrillation (mean shortest R-R, 180 vs. 240 milliseconds, P less than 0.0001) as was the average R-R interval (mean average R-R, 269 vs 340 milliseconds, P less than 0.0001). Patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome who are most susceptible to ventricular fibrillation have a history of atrial fibrillation and reciprocating tachycardia, demonstrate rapid conduction over an accessory pathway during atrial fibrillation and have multiple accessory pathways.
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            PACES/HRS expert consensus statement on the management of the asymptomatic young patient with a Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW, ventricular preexcitation) electrocardiographic pattern: developed in partnership between the Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES) and the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS). Endorsed by the governing bodies of PACES, HRS, the American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF), the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society (CHRS).

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              A population study of the natural history of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome in Olmsted County, Minnesota, 1953-1989.

              Virtually all natural history studies of Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome have been case series and, as such, have been constrained by referral biases, skewed age and sex distributions, or brief follow-up periods. The purpose of our study was to examine the natural history, the development of arrhythmias, and the incidence of sudden death in an entire cohort of pediatric and adult WPW patients from a community-based local population. We identified 113 residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, during the period 1953-1989 using the centralized records-linkage system provided by the Mayo Clinic and the Rochester Epidemiology Program Project. Medical records and ECGs were reviewed to confirm the diagnosis and to establish pathway location by ECG criteria. Follow-up, via record review and telephone interview, was complete in 95% of subjects through 1990. The incidence of newly diagnosed cases was approximately four per 100,000 per year. Preexcitation was not present on the initial ECG of 22% of the cohort. Approximately 50% of the population was asymptomatic at diagnosis, with 30% subsequently having symptoms related to arrhythmia at follow-up. Two sudden cardiac deaths (SCD) occurred over 1,338 patient-years of follow-up, yielding an overall SCD rate of 0.0015 (95% confidence interval, 0.0002-0.0054) per patient-year. No SCD occurred in patients asymptomatic at diagnosis. The incidence of sudden death in a local community-based population is low and suggests that electrophysiological testing should not be performed routinely in asymptomatic patients with WPW syndrome. Nevertheless, young, asymptomatic patients, particularly those < 40 years old, should return for medical follow-up should symptoms develop.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Indian Pacing Electrophysiol J
                Indian Pacing Electrophysiol J
                Indian Pacing and Electrophysiology Journal
                Elsevier
                0972-6292
                25 October 2019
                Nov-Dec 2019
                25 October 2019
                : 19
                : 6
                : 232-239
                Affiliations
                [a ]Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, UK Healthcare, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 40508, USA
                [b ]Department of Pediatrics (Division of Cardiology), Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, 97239, USA
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author. 138 Leader Avenue, Lexington, KY, 40509, USA. shaun.mohan@ 123456uky.edu
                Article
                S0972-6292(19)30127-5
                10.1016/j.ipej.2019.10.001
                6904806
                31669128
                a0cf45f6-0f51-4d3a-bbd9-88814f0d4814
                © 2019 Indian Heart Rhythm Society. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V.

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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