Transesophageal Atrial Pacing and Recording in Children and Infants

Conversion of atrial flutter in pediatric patients by transesophageal atrial pacing: a safe, effective, minimally invasive procedure.

Rhodes LA, Walsh EP, Saul JP. Children's Hospital, Boston. Am Heart J 130(2):323-7, 1995. Atrial reentry tachycardia, often termed atrial flutter, is an arrhythmia that is uncommon in the general pediatric population but is seen frequently in patients with congenital heart disease. One goal in treating the arrhythmia is to terminate it, returning the atrium to its underlying rhythm. This report describes the use of transesophageal atrial pacing to attempt termination of atrial reentry in 102 pediatric patients (158 episodes). The patients ranged in age from 1 hour to 41.5 years. Conversion was successful for 112 (71%) of 158 episodes. Six of the 112 episodes required an infusion of procainamide after initial attempts at pacing led to atrial fibrillation. There were no significant differences between the ages of patients or the duration of the tachycardia in comparing successful versus unsuccessful conversions. In contrast, the atrial cycle lengths for the successfully converted tachycardias were significantly greater than for unsuccessful attempts. Transesophageal atrial pacing is a safe and effective means of terminating atrial flutter in the pediatric population. It is minimally invasive, it can often be performed in an outpatient setting, and the technique may occasionally be facilitated by infusion of intravenous procainamide.

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