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Junctional ectopic tachycardia in six paediatric patients
  1. Antoinette M Cilliers,
  2. Jan P du Plessis,
  3. Sally-Ann B Clur,
  4. Freddie Dateling,
  5. Solomon E Levin
  1. Division of Paediatric Cardiology, Chris Hani Baragwanath and J G Strijdom Hospitals, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  1. Dr Cilliers, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Division of Paediatric Cardiology, PO Bertsham, Johannesburg, 2013, South Africa; email: cilliers{at}


The presenting features and treatment responses of six children with junctional ectopic tachycardia are evaluated. Two of the patients were siblings and both presented in early childhood with cardiopulmonary failure. The elder sibling died, the surviving sibling was controlled on a combination of amiodarone, digoxin, and sotalol. The remaining four patients presented in later childhood with tachycardia induced cardiomyopathy. Two of the patients were diagnosed incidentally and have normalised their myocardial function on sotalol therapy. The other two presented in congestive cardiac failure. Radiofrequency His bundle ablation and insertion of a permanent pacemaker to control the arrhythmia was undertaken in the elder of the two patients. The remaining patient has had marginal recovery of myocardial function on a combination of amiodarone and sotalol treatment. Improvement in myocardial function may take several months and is dependent on control of the tachycardia in some patients. Sotalol, when used as single or combination treatment, was partially successful in four cases in reducing heart rate. None of the patients reverted to sinus rhythm.

  • junctional ectopic tachycardia
  • sotalol
  • cardiomyopathy
  • supraventricular tachycardia

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