Author + information
- Received March 20, 1989
- Revision received December 13, 1989
- Accepted December 20, 1989
- Published online May 1, 1990.
- ↵*Address for reprints: David E. Haines, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Box 146, Division of Cardiology, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908.
Although intraatrial reentry has been traditionally listed as a mechanism for supraventricular tachycardia, few reports describing the clinical features of this arrhythmia exist. Nineteen patients with a clinical history of sustained supraventricular tachycardia were diagnosed as having intraatrial reentrant tachycardia. Seventeen (89%) patients of the 19 had underlying structural heart disease and 17 had echocardiographic evidence of atrial enlargement; the mean left ventricular ejection fraction was 51 ± 16%. A history of concomitant atrial fibrillation or flutter was present in 13 patients (68%). The mean atrial cycle length during tachycardia was 326 ± 57 ms (range 260 to 460). Fourteen patients had 1:1 atrioventricular (AV) conduction during tachycardia, of whom 50% had an RP7RR' ratio >0.5.
Intravenous adenosine (dose range 37.5 to 150 µg/kg) and verapamil (dose range 5 to 10 mg) had no effect on atrial tachycardia cycle length in 13 of 14 and 9 of 9 patients, respectively, despite induction of second degree AV block. Type la antiarrhythmic drugs achieved longterm suppression of intraatrial reentrant tachycardia in only 6 patients, whereas amiodarone (326 ± 145 mg/day) was successful in 11 patients during a 32 ± 20 month follow-up period. The remaining two patients and one patient who later developed amiodarone toxicity either progressed to (n = 1) or had (n = 2) catheter-induced high grade AV block and were treated with long-term ventricular pacing.
It is concluded that intraatrial reentrant tachycardia is often associated with structural heart disease, particularly of types that cause atrial abnormalities, but left ventricular dysfunction is not a requisite finding. Other arrhythmias are frequently observed in these patients. This arrhythmia responds poorly to type la antiarrhythmic drugs, but is effectively treated with amiodarone. Catheter ablation of the AV junction offers a therapeutic option for patients who are refractory to medical therapy.
- Received March 20, 1989.
- Revision received December 13, 1989.
- Accepted December 20, 1989.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation