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      Epidemiology and Outcome of Tachyarrhythmias in Tertiary Pediatric Cardiac Centers

      a , a, b , a

      Cardiology

      S. Karger AG

      Arrhythmias, Epidemiology, Child

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          Abstract

          Introduction: Little is known about the real importance of pediatric arrhythmias. Methods: We analyzed the epidemiology, presentation and outcome of all clinically relevant tachyarrhythmias followed up in our pediatric institutions from 1995 to 2006. Results: A total of 250 cases were identified. The mean age ± SD at diagnosis was 4.7 ± 5.3 years, 45 cases were neonatal (18%). Supraventricular arrhythmias were noted in 210 children (84%), ventricular arrhythmias in 40 (16%). The most frequent symptoms were palpitations (n = 71) and syncope (n = 48) in older children, as well as monitoring of diseases (n = 62) and heart failure (n = 49) in younger patients. Recurrence was noted under or after therapy in 75 cases, mostly in cases diagnosed beyond infancy. At long-term follow-up, 169 patients have no recurrence without treatment (of whom 34 had required catheter ablation), 71 are under therapy and 10 died. Conclusion: Supraventricular arrhythmias in younger children are often an incidental diagnosis, respond to antiarrhythmic therapy and have a high incidence of resolution. In older children with supraventricular arrhythmias and in those with ventricular arrhythmias, delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis is not rare, the arrhythmias are unlikely to resolve spontaneously and long-term antiarrhythmic treatment or catheter ablation is necessary.

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          Most cited references 7

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          Syncope in pediatric patients presenting to an emergency department.

          To assess the epidemiology of syncope coming to medical attention among unselected children referred to an emergency department in Western Europe. We analyzed the cause of syncope and diagnostic workup of 226 consecutive pediatric patients seen in our emergency department because of a syncopal event. Neurocardiogenic syncope and neurologic disorders were the most common diagnoses (80% and 9%, respectively). Other causes included psychologic, cardiac, respiratory, toxicologic, and metabolic problems. The neurocardiogenic and disease-related syncopes were easily identified or suspected by history and physical examination. Electrocardiography was not performed in 132 cases (58%). Most patients with suspected neurocardiogenic syncope had an electroencephalogram, and 29% were admitted to the hospital. Cardiac disorders represented 5 cases (2%); 2 had been previously misdiagnosed. Syncope in children can result from a wide variety of causes. Consequently, an evaluation that fails to approach this problem in a goal-directed fashion proves to be very expensive, time-consuming, and frustrating to all concerned. Thorough history and physical examination are usually all that are necessary to guide practitioners in choosing the diagnostic tests that apply to a given patient.
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            Supraventricular tachycardia in children.

             M. Kantoch (2005)
            Several different mechanisms are responsible for paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia in children. Different forms of tachycardia occur at different age. Atrio-ventricular reentry tachycardia results from the presence of congenital atrio-ventricular bypass tracts and is frequently encountered at all ages. Infants may present with ectopic atrial tachycardia or atrial flutter. Atrio-ventricular node reentry tachycardia becomes more frequent in adolescence. Atrial scarring resulting from open heart surgery predisposes to complex intra-atrial reentry. Certain forms of congenital and acquired heart disease are associated with specific types of arrhythmia. Many children with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia do not require any therapy. The decision to proceed with treatment should be based on the frequency and severity of symptoms and on the effect of arrhythmia on the quality of life. Infants require medical treatment because of the difficulty to recognize symptoms of tachycardia and a risk of heart failure. Patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome as well as those with significant heart disease are at risk of sudden death. Syncope in children with paroxysmal tachycardia may indicate a severe fall in cardiac output from extremely rapid heart rate. Patients with potentially life-threatening arrhythmia should not participate in competitive physical activities. Treatment options have undergone significant evolution over the past decade. Indications for the use of specific antiarrhythmic medications have been refined. Contemporary catheter ablation procedures employ different forms of energy allowing for safe and effective procedures. Catheter ablation is the treatment of choice for symptomatic paroxysmal tachycardia in school children and in some infants who failed medical treatment. Surgery is the preferred treatment in few selected cases. The goal of this review is to present the state of the art approach to the diagnosis and management of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia in infants, children and adolescents.
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              Supraventricular tachycardia in children: clinical features, response to treatment, and long-term follow-up in 217 patients.

              We reviewed the records of 217 children whose first episode of supraventricular tachycardia occurred before 18 years (median age 24 months). There were 112 males and 105 females. Of the 49 with congenital heart disease, SVT began before any operation in 26 and greater than 2 weeks postoperatively in 23. Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome was present on surface ECG in 47/217 (22%). Congestive heart failure accompanied the first episode of SVT in 38% of the patients who were 4 months of age or younger, and in only 19% of those over 4 months (P less than 0.001). Treatment was successful in stopping SVT within 48 hours in 90/142 (63%). Successful short-term treatment included digoxin 57/184 (68%), cardioversion 12/20 (60%), vagal maneuvers 12/19 (63%), phenylephrine 3/9, and overdrive pacing 4/5. SVT recurred at least once in 83% of all patients. On follow-up (mean 4.6 years), episodes of SVT were still present in 56%. Three patients died--two from incessant SVT and one from a CVA after VSD repair. We conclude that long-term status was difficult to predict, but SVT was present in fewer patients whose age at onset was less than 4 months and in those with unoperated CHD. Early recurrence was not a poor prognostic sign. We recommended treatment for at least one year in all patients with SVT, whether or not the first episode terminates spontaneously.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                CRD
                Cardiology
                10.1159/issn.0008-6312
                Cardiology
                S. Karger AG
                0008-6312
                1421-9751
                2008
                September 2008
                25 April 2008
                : 111
                : 3
                : 191-196
                Affiliations
                aDepartment of Pediatric Cardiology, Queen Fabiola Children’s University Hospital, Free University of Brussels (HUDERF-ULB) and bDepartment of Pediatric Cardiology, University Hospital UZ Brussels, Free University of Brussels (UZ-VUB), Brussels, Belgium
                Article
                121603 Cardiology 2008;111:191–196
                10.1159/000121603
                18434724
                © 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 2, References: 11, Pages: 6
                Categories
                Original Research

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