Esophageal Electrocardiography

Effect of intravenous propranolol or verapamil on infant orthodromic reciprocating tachycardia.

Silberbach M, Dunnigan A, Benson DW Jr. Variety Club Children's Hosp, U of Minnesota. Am J Cardiol 1989;63(7):438-42. The effects of intravenous verapamil (0.15 mg/kg) and propranolol (0.2 mg/kg) with regard to atrioventricular (AV) conduction and tachycardia termination during paroxysmal atrial tachycardia were compared in 2 groups of infants (verapamil n = 14, propranolol n = 18, mean age 80 +/- 21 days, range 1 to 364). Using transesophageal recording techniques, tachycardia cycle length, AV intervals and ventriculoatrial intervals were measured before and after drug administration. Both intravenous propranolol and verapamil significantly prolonged tachycardia cycle length and AV interval (cycle length--propranolol 230 +/- 30 to 262 +/- 33 ms, p less than 0.05, verapamil 223 +/- 38 to 245 +/- 32 ms, p less than 0.05; AV interval--propranolol 98 +/- 26 to 126 +/- 38 ms, p less than 0.05, verapamil 96 +/- 19 to 109 +/- 24 ms, p less than 0.05). Neither drug prolonged the ventriculoatrial interval. Tachycardia terminated after intravenous verapamil in 11 of 14 infants (79% efficacy rate). Tachycardia terminated in 0 of 18 after intravenous propranolol (0% efficacy rate). In 8 infants an atrial deflection was recorded on the esophageal electrocardiogram at the time of tachycardia termination after intravenous verapamil, which suggested that tachycardia terminated by block occurring in the AV node. In 2 infants a ventricular deflection was recorded at the time of tachycardia termination after verapamil, which suggested that block occurred in the accessory connection. Both drugs prolonged tachycardia cycle length by prolonging AV conduction to a similar degree.

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