The efficacy, safety and diagnostic usefulness of adenosine in the treatment of supraventricular tachycardia in children were prospectively studied over a 2-year period. Only patients who were stable and without hypotension were included. Adenosine was given at a dose of 0.1 mg/kg and increased to 0.2 mg/kg for the second and third doses if there was no response. Adenosine was used on 5 occasions in 5 patients. Adenosine was found to be effective in terminating supraventricular tachycardia in all 5 patients; 4 responded to a dose of 0.2 mg/kg while 1 responded to 0.1 mg/kg. Wolff-Parkinson White Syndrome was detected in 2 patients after termination of supraventricular tachycardia.Transient hypotension was noted in 1 patient lasting 45 seconds with no haemodynamic consequences. Two patients had transient ventricular ectopics lasting 3 to 5 seconds. One out of 3 patients who were old enough to report side-effects, experienced chest discomfort and dizziness lasting 5 seconds. All side-effects were transient and mild. We concluded that adenosine is effective and safe in terminating supraventricular tachycardia in children after vagal manoeuvres have failed.
Adenosine has been shown to be effective in terminating supraventricular tachycardia in adults and children. However, the use of adenosine has not been previously studied in Singapore children; hence we report our experience with the use of adenosine for the treatment and diagnosis of supraventricular tachycardia in children over a 2-year period when the drug was introduced in 1994.
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