Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation of Atrioventricular Nodal Reentrant Tachycardia in Children


Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Radiofrequency (RF) catheter ablation has been widely used in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. In atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT), the experience has been predominantly in adults. The cardiac electrophysiological records of 18 consecutive children undergoing RF catheter AV node modification for AVNRT were reviewed. The patients (10 females, 8 males) were 8.2–17.9 years of age (mean 13.6 ± 3.0), weight 15.2–88.1 kg (mean 52.2 ± 20.8), and height 103–190 cm (mean 157.1 ± 21.7). Thirteen were on antiarrhythmic medications (1–3, average 1.5 drugs/day). All drugs were discontinued 48 hours prior to the ablations. The procedures were performed under sedation and local anesthesia. Pre‐ and post‐AV node modification electrophysiological studies were performed in all procedures. The 18 patients underwent a total of 25 procedures (1.39 ± 0.61 per patient): the anterior approach aimed at the antegrade fast pathway in the first four patients and the posterior approach aimed at the slow pathway in the remainder. Thenumber of energy applications was 8–54 (19.8 ± 10.7) per procedure. The maximum energy used in each procedure was 30–50 watts (33.8 ± 8.4). The average energy was 24–50 watts (33.0 ± 6.8). The fluoroscopy time was 7.1–73.4 minutes (29.9 ± 20.0) per procedure, for a total catheterization time of 228–480 minutes (300.3 ± 59.1). Preablation spontaneous or induced AVNRT (cycle length 310.4 ± 55.0 msec) was seen in all except one who had the arrhythmia (cycle length 270 msec) on surface ECG. In 22 of 25 studies, the AH interval measured 67.4 ± 13.2 msec pre‐ and 98.7 ± 58.4 msec post‐AV node modification (P < 0.02). Procedures were initially successful in 16 (89%) of 18 patients. One patient developed complete AV block requiring DDD pacemaker and has since recovered normal AV conduction. Transient third‐ or second‐degree block was seen in four. Other complications included airway obstruction in one and excessive emesis in another. In follow‐up of 2–26 months (13.0 ± 7.3), one patient underwent surgical ablation for failed initial RF catheter ablation, and two underwent successful RF procedures for recurrences. RF catheter AV node modification for AVNRT in children is a useful technique. Under ideal circumstances, it is safe and efficacious. Follow‐up to determine the potential long‐term complications is necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1621-1626
Number of pages6
JournalPacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • arrhythmia
  • atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia
  • radiofrequency catheter ablation
  • supraventricular tachycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation of Atrioventricular Nodal Reentrant Tachycardia in Children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this