Supraventricular tachycardia of the sick, a unique entity

Fuad J Habash, Peyton Card, Mohammed Eid Madmani, Bradley Boye, Hakan Paydak
Türk Kardiyoloji Derneği Arşivi: Türk Kardiyoloji Derneğinin Yayın Organıdır 2019, 47 (8): 669-673

OBJECTIVE: This study explored a unique form of atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT) in which certain acutely ill patients have a first episode of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) with a short RP interval.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review was conducted of patients at a single institution who developed SVT with short RP and yielded 19 patients.

RESULTS: None of the 19 patients had a prior history of AVNRT or any other arrhythmia. The mean age was 58 years, the majority of patients were male (13/19), and there was a presence of hypertension (10/19), diabetes mellitus (5/19), hyperlipidemia (7/19), congestive heart failure (2/19), coronary artery disease (3/19), obstructive sleep apnea (2/19), and active cancer (8/19). The reasons for admission were planned surgery (8/19), sepsis (8/19), drug abuse (2/19), and neurological disorder (2/19). The AVNRT either terminated spontaneously or following the administration of adenosine. The patients were treated with amiodarone (12/19), metoprolol (6/19), or diltiazem (1/19). Follow-up (mean: 370 days) details revealed that patients were on amiodarone (3/19), metoprolol (6/19), were not taking any cardiac medication (5/19), or had passed away (5/19). Only 1 patient had a recurrence of AVNRT, and none of the patients required ablation therapy.

CONCLUSION: 'AVNRT of the sick' has not been previously described in the medical literature, to our knowledge. It can be successfully treated with medications and the chance of recurrence after resolution of the acute illness is small.

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