Transesophageal study of infant supraventricular tachycardia: Electrophysiologic characteristics

D. Woodrow Benson, Ann Dunnigan, David G. Benditt, Marc R. Pritzker, Theodore R. Thompson

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Programmed electrical stimulation of the heart to initiate and terminate tachycardia and analysis of the temporal relation between ventricular and atrial activation during tachycardia have been useful in the evaluation of Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). Such techniques have rarely been applied to evaluate infants with SVT. We used a silicone rubber-coated bipolar electrode catheter (15 or 22 mm interelectrode spacing), positioned in the esophagus, for electrical stimulation of the heart and recording of electrograms for the evaluation of 14 infants aged 1 to 84 days with SVT. Three infants had electrocardiographic features of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, and no infant had other manifestations of congenital heart disease. Tachycardia cycle lengths ranged from 180 to 295 ms and ventriculoatrial intervals recorded from the esophagus were 80 to 220 ms. In 12 infants, transesophageal atrial stimulation was used to terminate and initiate SVT using stimuli of 9.9 ms and 10 to 20 mA. Initiation and termination of SVT by electrical stimulation suggest that SVT in infants is due to reentry, and the presence of ventriculoatrial intervals >70 ms further suggests that accessory atrioventricular connections (usually concealed) constitute a portion of the reentry circuit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1002-1006
Number of pages5
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 1983


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