[Catecholinergic ventricular tachycardia in children]

Arch Mal Coeur Vaiss. 2005 May;98(5):506-12.
[Article in French]


Catecholinergic ventricular tachycardia is an adrenergic induced polymorphic ventricular arrhythmia. It occurs in infancy and is responsible for syncope and sudden death in the absence of any morphological cardiac abnormality. Without treatment the mortality in catecholinergic ventricular tachycardia is very high. We report genetic and clinical data from 25 cases of catecholinergic ventricular tachycardia referred with syncope (n=19) or resuscitated sudden death during exercise (n=6). A family history from the 25 families identified 41 apparent subjects considered as being clinically affected, with an average age of 30 +/- 10 years (11 to 62 years). Analysis of the RyR2 gene showed mutations in 13 of the 25 cases and in 39 of apparent subjects. With betablocker treatment (nadolol: 1.6 +/- 0.15 mg/kg), 96% of patients remained asymptomatic over an average follow-up of between 7.5 +/- 1.5 years, although some of them continued to display polymorphic ventricular extrasystoles on exercise. Nevertheless, 12% of the cases suffered sudden death or further syncope during follow-up. An automatic defibrillator was implanted in 2 patients who had a RyR2 mutation. High dose betablockers are effective in preventing serious rhythm disturbance in children. In adolescence, implanting an automatic defibrillator should be discussed in cases with a history of syncope or resuscitated sudden death. We confirm the importance of genetic studies in these families at high risk of sudden death.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Catecholamines / pharmacology
  • Child
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac*
  • Defibrillators, Implantable
  • Electrocardiography
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel / genetics
  • Syncope
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / drug therapy
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / genetics*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / pathology*


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Catecholamines
  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel