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Recovery pattern of left ventricular dysfunction following radiofrequency ablation of incessant supraventricular tachycardia in infants and children
  1. J V De Giovanni,
  2. A Dindar,
  3. M J Griffith,
  4. R A Edgar,
  5. E D Silove,
  6. O Stumper,
  7. JG C Wright
  1. Heart Unit, Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Trust, Ladywood Middleway, Birmingham, B16 8ET, UK
  1. Dr De Giovanni. email:heartunit.department{at}


Objective To assess recovery pattern of left ventricular function secondary to incessant tachycardia after radiofrequency ablation in a group of infants and children.

Design and setting A combined prospective and retrospective echocardiographic study carried out in a tertiary paediatric cardiac centre.

Patients Echocardiographic evaluation of left ventricular size and function in nine children with incessant tachycardia, before and after successful radiofrequency ablation. Age at ablation ranged from 2 months to 12.5 years (mean 4.1 years). Recovery of left ventricular function was analysed in relation to age at ablation (group I < 18 months, group II > 18 months).

Main outcome measure Ventricular recovery pattern.

Results Seven of the nine children had left ventricular dysfunction; six of these also had left ventricular dilatation. All children with left ventricular dysfunction had normalisation of ejection fraction and fractional shortening; left ventricular dilatation also improved, but the improvement occurred after recovery of function. There was a shorter recovery time for left ventricular function in younger (group I) than in older children (group II) (mean (SD) 5.7 (7.2) months v 31.3 (5.2) (p < 0.002).

Conclusions Tachycardia induced cardiomyopathy is reversible following curative treatment with radiofrequency. Recovery of left ventricular systolic function precedes recovery of left ventricular dilatation. Time course to recovery is shorter in younger children.

  • radiofrequency ablation
  • left ventricular dysfunction
  • incessant tachycardia
  • echocardiography
  • children

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