A case series of neonatal arrhythmias

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2016;29(8):1344-7. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2015.1048679. Epub 2015 Jun 3.


Objective: Neonatal arrhythmias (NAs) are defined as abnormal heart rates in the neonatal period. They may occur as a result of various cardiovascular, systemic and metabolic problems.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed on newborns who were diagnosed with NA during hospitalization in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), or who were admitted to the NICU because of an arrhythmia diagnosis in two NICUs in Turkey from May 2011 to June 2013.

Results: Seventeen neonates with arrhythmias were identified. The incidence of NA was 0.4% and 0.3% in the two NICUs, and was 0.37% in the study population as a whole. Mean gestational age was 37 (29-40) weeks. Nine of the infants (53%) were diagnosed with fetal arrhythmia (FA) during the last week of gestation. The distribution of NA types was as follows: six (35%) supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), six (35%) premature atrial contractions (PACs), two (11%) premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), two (11%) multiple arrhythmias such as SVT + PAC and AV block + PVC, and one (5%) AV block. Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome was present in one patient. An association of NA with congenital heart malformations was identified in five cases.

Conclusions: Cardiac arrhythmias are important causes of infant morbidity, and an occasional cause of infant mortality if undiagnosed and untreated. It is important for the physician to be aware of the etiology, development and natural history of arrhythmias in the fetal and neonatal period.

Keywords: Fetal arrhythmia; neonatal arrhythmia; outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnosis*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / diagnosis
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / drug therapy
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Male
  • Propranolol / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Propranolol
  • Adenosine