'Dual atrioventricular nodal pathways" were found in five patients who also had the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. All five patients had a re-entrant tachycardia that used the atrioventricular node for conduction in the anterograde direction and an accessory atrioventricular pathway for conduction in the retrograde direction. One of the patients also had a re-entrant tachycardia that originated within the atrium or the atrioventricular node. Dual atrioventricular nodal pathways were identified in three of the five patients during their first electrophysiological study because the effective refractory period of the accessory atrioventricular pathway in the anterograde direction was longer than the effective refractory period of the fast atrioventricular nodal pathway. In the other two patients the dual atrioventricular nodal pathways were found only after operative division of an accessory atrioventricular pathway. Re-entrant tachycardia that uses an accessory pathway may be cured by operative division of the accessory pathway. Tachycardia resulting from re-entry within the atrioventricular node cannot be cured by an operation unless the normal conduction system is divided and a permanent pacemaker implanted. These five patients indicate the importance of determining the aetiology of tachycardia by studying the tachycardia itself and not only the type of atrioventricular conduction present.
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