Author + information
- ↵*Address for reprints: Paul C. Gillette, MD, South Carolina Children's Heart Center, Medical University of South Carolina, 171 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, South Carolina 29425.
Sudden death may occur in children with supraventricular arrhythmias. Sick sinus syndrome, particularly if associated with tachycardia, may result in sudden death in children who have had opeh heart surgery and rarely in children with a normal heart. Children with supraventricular tachycardia rarely die. Only those with junctional automatic tachycardia or Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome have died. Patients with a short anterograde refractory period may be at risk of sudden death. Surgical division of the accessory cbnnection can prevent sudden death. Digitalis may accelerate atrioventricular (AV) conduction in patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and, thus, should be used only after testing in the electrophysiology laboratory. Sudden death due to complete AV block should be preventable using pacemakers. Neonates with a ventricular rate less than 55 beats/min or children with a rate less than 45 beats/min should receive pacemaker therapy because of the statistical probability of death or syncope. Ventricular ectopic beats, particularly if frequent or multiform, may be ah indication for pacemaker insertion. Patients with surgical complete AV block that persists for more than 7 to 10 days should receive physiologic pacemakers for the prevention of sudden death and hemodynamic benefit.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation