Age related changes in dual AV nodal physiology.
Dual atrioventricular nodal (DAVN) physiology has been reported in up to 63% of pediatric patients with anatomically normal hearts, yet atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT) accounts for only 13%-16% of supraventicular tachycardia (SVT) in childhood. The incidence of AVNRT increases with age and becomes the most common form of SVT by adolescence. We investigated the age related electrophysiological responses to programmed atrial and ventricular stimulation in 14 pediatric patients who underwent intracardiac electrophysiological study prior to radiofrequency catheter ablation for AVNRT and who exhibited DAVN physiology. Single atrial and ventricular extrastimuli were placed following drive trains with cycle lengths of 400-700 ms and 350-500 ms, respectively. Six children (mean age 8.2 years, range 5.2-11.5 years) were compared to eight adolescents (mean age 16.6 years, range 13.3-20.7 years). Adolescents were found to have a significantly longer fast pathway effective refractory period (ERP) (median 375 vs 270 ms, P = 0.03), slow pathway ERP (median 270 vs 218 ms, P = 0.04), atrio-Hisian (AH) during AVNRT (median 300 vs 225 ms, P = 0.007), and AVNRT cycle length (median 350 vs 290 ms, P = 0.03). There was a strong trend for the AH measured at the fast pathway ERP to be longer in adolescents than in children (median 258 vs 198 ms, P = 0.055). The AH at the fast pathway ERP was more strongly correlated with baseline cycle length than with age (r = 0.7, P = 0.01 vs r = 0.5, P = 0.7). There was no significant difference in the retrograde VA conduction between adolescents and children. These results demonstrate an age related difference in AV nodal response to programmed atrial stimuli in pediatric patients with DAVN physiology and AVNRT. These differences are consistent with mechanisms that may explain the increased incidence of AVNRT in adolescents compared to children.
Blaufox, AD; Rhodes, JF; Fishberger, SB
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