Transesophageal Atrial Pacing and Recording in Children and Infants

Reciprocating supraventricular tachycardia in children: low rate at rest as a major factor related to propensity to syncope during exercise.

Drago F, Turchetta A, Calzolari A, Giordano U, Di Ciommo V, Santilli A, Pompei E, Ragonese P. Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Bambino Gesu Children's Hospital, Scientific Institute of Research, Rome, Italy. Am Heart J 1996 Aug;132(2 Pt 1):280-5. Reciprocating supraventricular tachycardia may have several clinical presentations, with symptoms often more severe during exercise or emotional stress. This study shows by using transesophageal atrial pacing, the factors related to syncope during exercise. Between May 1989 and June 1994, transesophageal atrial pacing was performed at rest and during exercise in 75 children aged > 6 years with suspected or documented episodes of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia. Reciprocating supraventricular tachycardia could be induced both at rest and during exercise in 22 patients (8 girls, 14 boys; mean age 10.6 +/- 2.7 years, range 7 to 15 years) with ventriculoatrial interval 70 msec in 11. At rest, all patients had palpitations caused by the induction of tachycardia. After conversion to sinus rhythm, when tachycardia was induced during exercise, symptoms did not change in 14 patients (group A), whereas symptoms worsened (presyncope) in eight (group B). The statistical analysis showed a significant difference of mean reciprocating supraventricular tachycardia rate at rest between the two groups (group A, 211 +/- 23 beats/min; group B, 173 +/- 33 beats/min; p = 0.0057) and reciprocating supraventricular tachycardia rate variation from rest to exercise (group A, 62 +/- 18 beats/min; group B, 105 +/- 24 beats/min; p = 0.0001). These data suggest that children with low tachycardia rate during normal activities may have syncope more frequently, independently of the tachycardia rate during exercise or emotional stress.

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