Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and supraventricular tachycardia during infancy: management and follow-up

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1985 Jan;5(1):130-5. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(85)80095-4.


The records of 90 patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome who presented with supraventricular tachycardia in the first 4 months of life were reviewed. Among these, 63% were male. Structural heart disease was present in 20%, most commonly Ebstein's anomaly. All patients presented with a regular narrow QRS tachycardia, and pre-excitation became evident only when normal sinus rhythm was established. Only one infant had atrial flutter and none had atrial fibrillation. Type A Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome was most common (49%), with heart disease occurring in only 5% of these patients. In contrast, heart disease was identified in 45% of those with type B syndrome. Initially, normal sinus rhythm was achieved in 88% of the 66 infants treated with digoxin with no deaths. Normal sinus rhythm resumed after electrical countershock in 87% of the 15 infants so treated. Maintenance digoxin therapy was used in 85 patients. The Wolff-Parkinson-White pattern disappeared in 36% of the patients. Four infants died of cardiac causes during the mean follow-up period of 6.5 years. Two of these four infants had congenital heart disease; the third, with a normal heart initially, developed ventricular fibrillation and died from a cardiomyopathy considered related to resuscitation. The remaining infant, with a normal heart, died suddenly at 1 month of age. All were receiving digoxin. A wide QRS tachycardia later appeared in three patients, all with heart disease, one of whom died.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Digoxin / therapeutic use
  • Ebstein Anomaly / therapy
  • Electric Countershock
  • Electrophysiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Conduction System / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Sinoatrial Node / physiopathology
  • Tachycardia / drug therapy
  • Tachycardia / mortality
  • Tachycardia / surgery
  • Tachycardia / therapy*
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome / mortality
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome / surgery
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome / therapy*


  • Digoxin