One hundred and seventeen episodes of supraventricular tachycardia in 50 children, including 28 infants, were treated with intravenous adenosine. Adenosine was prepared in a sterile solution of 0.9% saline (1 mg/ml) and given in incremental doses of 0.05 mg/kg every two minutes to a maximum of 0.25 mg/kg. Ninety of the 117 episodes were terminated. This included 88 of the 102 episodes of junctional tachycardia (79 of the 92 episodes of atrioventricular reentry tachycardia, seven of the eight episodes of atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia, and both of the episodes of long R-P' tachycardia). Only one of four episodes of His bundle tachycardia and one of the eight episodes of ectopic atrial tachycardia were terminated. None of the three episodes of atrial flutter were terminated. Side effects were frequent but mild and included transient complete atrioventricular block (less than 6 s), sinus bradycardia (less than 40 s), ventricular extrasystoles, flushing, nausea, headache, and respiratory disturbance. Reinitiation (within 5 s) of supraventricular tachycardia occurred in 13 of the terminated episodes. Although reinitiation limited its clinical efficacy in some patients, intravenous adenosine offered a safe and efficient method of rapid termination of most episodes of supraventricular tachycardia and in some cases facilitated diagnosis of the mechanism.
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