Flecainide as first-line treatment for fetal supraventricular tachycardia

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2018 Feb;31(4):407-412. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2017.1286317. Epub 2017 Feb 14.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate utilization, efficacy, and side effects of flecainide treatment as first-line agent in patients with fetal supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).

Method: This retrospective review was conducted on 23 consecutive fetal tachyarrhythmia cases that met inclusion criteria. If the treatment was necessary, then flecainide was used as first-line treatment in all cases.

Result: Among the study group, there were 21 (91.3%) cases of SVT and 2 (8.6%) cases of Atrial Flutter (AF). Sixteen fetuses had persistent SVT and five fetuses had intermittent SVT. We treated 17 fetuses with flecainide monotherapy and 15 of them converted to sinus rhythm and remaining two fetuses were refractory to monotherapy. The median time to conversion to sinus rhythm was 3.8 ± 1.6 days. Only one fetus (20%) among the intermittent SVT cases required anti-arrhythmic treatment.

Conclusion: Our study has demonstrated that flecainide is an effective first-line treatment for fetal SVT with high success rate (88.2%), low side effect profile and relatively easy utilization. Based on the current study and recently published article results, flecainide can be recommended as the drug of first choice for treatment of fetal SVT cases.

Keywords: Fetus; arrhythmia; flecainide; supraventricular tachycardia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Fetal Heart / diagnostic imaging
  • Flecainide / therapeutic use*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Hydrops Fetalis / etiology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / complications
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Flecainide