The Use of Radiofrequency Energy in Pediatric Cardiology


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The use of radiofrequency energy for the treatment of supraventricular tachycardia in pediatric patients has gained widespread acceptance, especially for tachyarrhythmias associated with palpitations, dizziness, presyncope or syncope, cardiomyopathy, and cardiac arrest. Ablation of the substrate supporting atrioventricular reentry, atrioventricular node reentry, and automatic atrial tachycardia yields a 90%–98% success rate with low incidence (< 1%) of complications and adverse side‐effects. Ablation of intra‐atrial reentry, including atrial flutter and fibrillation, appears to be promising and would be a significant advance in the management of patients following extensive atrial surgery for congenital heart disease. Radiofrequency energy is also used to treat various forms of idiopathic ventricular tachycardia. Finally, radiofrequency energy has been extended to control the ventricular rate associated with malignant atrial tachycardia by either modification or ablation of the atrioventricular node, and subsequent pacemaker implant. Long‐term outcome of radiofrequency ablation is unknown, but the short‐to‐intermediate (1–5 yrs) outcome is excellent, with low recurrence rate of the tachycardia, no proarrhythmic effect, and excellent clinical state. (J Interven Cardiol 1995;8:557–568)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-568
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1995


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