Transesophageal Atrial Pacing and Recording in Children and Infants

Outcome of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome in children. Transesophageal study of anterograde permeability of the accessory pathway and of atrial vulnerability.

Villain E, Attali T, Iserin L, Aggoun Y, Kachaner J. Hopital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris. Arch Mal Coeur Vaiss 1994 May;86(5):649-52. Twenty-nine children with the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW) were evaluated by transoesophageal electrophysiological studies to determine the quality of anterograde-conduction in the accessory pathway and the atrial vulnerability. The study group included 15 neonates, 1 to 30 days old, and 14 children from 5 to 15 years of age; Anterograde conduction through the bundle of Kent was tested by incremental transoesophageal atrial pacing and by the determination of the shortest conducted cycle with preexcited RR waves; bursts of atrial pacing were then used to try to trigger an atrial arrhythmia. In the group of the 15 neonates, 11 had accessory pathways capable of conduction to the ventricules at frequencies > 300/min (stimulation cycle 200 ms in 11/14 cases; on the other hand, atrial fibrillation was easily induced in 4 children, all over 12 years of age. The risk of syncope by rapid conduction of an atrial arrhythmia through the accessory pathway is negligeable in young children, including those on digoxin. This study suggests that this low risk is explained more by the absence of atrial vulnerability than by the electrophysiological properties of the accessory pathways.

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