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Clinical and electrophysiological characteristics, and relatively benign outcome, of typical atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia in children and adolescents

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 August 2008

Alfredo Di Pino*
Paediatric Cardiology, S. Vincenzo Hospital, Taormina, Italy
Elio Caruso
Paediatric Cardiology, S. Vincenzo Hospital, Taormina, Italy
Dario Salvo
Paediatric Cardiology, S. Vincenzo Hospital, Taormina, Italy
Innocenzo Bianca
Paediatric Cardiology, S. Vincenzo Hospital, Taormina, Italy
Correspondence to: Alfredo Di Pino, Unità Operativa di Cardiologia Pediatrica, Ospedale S. Vincenzo Contrada Sirina, 98039 Taormina Messina, Italy. Tel: 0942579550; Fax: 094252215; E-mail:



Atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia is an uncommon arrhythmia in children. The natural history of this disturbance is poorly known in young patients.


We analyzed the clinical and electrophysiological features, and the final outcome, in 19 children affected by typical atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia diagnosed by a transoesophageal electrophysiological study.


Of the cohort, 12 patients were female and 7 male, with a mean age of 11 years. Dual atrioventricular nodal physiology was demonstrated in 14 children (73%). The mean length of the tachycardia cycle was 297 milliseconds, with periods of 2 to 1 atrioventricular block during tachycardia noted in 5 children (26%). The mean cycle length was significantly shorter in the children who presented episodes of 2 to 1 atrioventricular block than in those who did not. After diagnosis, 12 children were not treated, 6 were treated with medical therapy, and 1 was submitted to radiofrequency transcatheter ablation. During a mean follow-up period of 41 months, 2 children with rare, but sustained, episodes of tachycardia that initially had not been treated were submitted to radiofrequency transcatheter ablation. Among children treated pharmacologically, 1 teenager was submitted to radiofrequency transcatheter ablation on the basis of parental choice, 3 children have discontinued medical therapy recording only sporadic episodes of tachycardia, and 2 children are still treated with antiarrhythmic drugs. At the last follow-up visit, 13 children (68%) were without any treatment, 4 had been successfully ablated, and 2 were still on medical treatment.


Our data indicates a relatively benign outcome in this group of children and adolescents with atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia.

Original Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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