Fetal and Neonatal Arrhythmias

Clin Perinatol. 2016 Mar;43(1):99-112. doi: 10.1016/j.clp.2015.11.007.


Cardiac arrhythmias are an important aspect of fetal and neonatal medicine. Premature complexes of atrial or ventricular origin are the main cause of an irregular heart rhythm. The finding is typically unrelated to an identifiable cause and no treatment is required. Tachyarrhythmia most commonly relates to supraventricular reentrant tachycardia, atrial flutter, and sinus tachycardia. Several antiarrhythmic agents are available for the perinatal treatment of tachyarrhythmias. Enduring bradycardia may result from sinus node dysfunction, complete heart block and nonconducted atrial bigeminy as the main arrhythmia mechanisms. The management and outcome of bradycardia depend on the underlying mechanism.

Keywords: Arrhythmia; Bradycardia; Diagnosis; Fetal; Pediatric; Tachycardia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnosis
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / drug therapy*
  • Atrial Flutter / diagnosis
  • Atrial Flutter / drug therapy
  • Atrial Premature Complexes / diagnosis
  • Atrial Premature Complexes / drug therapy
  • Bradycardia / diagnosis
  • Bradycardia / drug therapy
  • Electrocardiography
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Fetal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Heart Block / diagnosis
  • Heart Block / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / diagnosis
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Tachycardia, Sinus / diagnosis
  • Tachycardia, Sinus / drug therapy
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / diagnosis
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / drug therapy
  • Ventricular Premature Complexes / diagnosis
  • Ventricular Premature Complexes / drug therapy


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents