Value of provocative electrophysiology testing in the management of pediatric patients after congenital heart surgery

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2020 Sep;43(9):901-907. doi: 10.1111/pace.13925. Epub 2020 Aug 6.


Objective: To determine the impact of provocative electrophysiology testing in postoperative congenital heart disease (CHD) patients on the management of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and clinical outcomes.

Methods: This is a retrospective study including patients <18 years of age with surgery for CHD who had postoperative SVT between 2006 and 2017. Postoperative outcomes were compared between patients with and without postoperative electrophysiology testing using the Wilcoxon rank sum test, Fisher's exact test, Kaplan-Meier method with the log-rank test, and Cox proportional hazard model.

Results: From 341 patients who had SVT after surgery for CHD, 65 (19%) had postoperative electrophysiology testing. There was no significant difference in baseline patient characteristics or surgical complexity between patients with and without electrophysiology testing. Patients with inducible SVT on electrophysiology testing were more likely to have recurrence of SVT prior to hospital discharge with an odds ratio 4.0 (95% confidence interval 1.3, 12.0). Patients who underwent postoperative electrophysiology testing had shorter intensive care unit (12 [6, 20] vs 16 [9, 32] days, HR 2.1 [95% CI 1.6, 2.8], P < .001) and hospital (25 [13, 38] vs 31 [18, 54] days, HR 1.8 [95% CI 1.4, 2.4], P < .001) length of stay.

Conclusion: Postoperative electrophysiology testing was associated with improved postoperative outcomes, likely related to the ability to predict recurrence of arrhythmia and tailored antiarrhythmic management.

Keywords: SVT; clinical; electrophysiology; pediatrics; surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Postoperative Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / congenital
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / physiopathology*
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / surgery*
  • Telemetry