A multicenter, long-term study on arrhythmias in children with Ebstein anomaly

T. Delhaas, G. Sarvaas, M. Rijlaarsdam, J. Strengers, R. Eveleigh, S. Poulino, C. de Korte and L. Kapusta

Department of Pediatrics, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands. t.delhaas@fys.unimaas.nl
Feb, 2010



To assess the prevalence, history, and treatment of arrhythmias, in particular preexcitation and Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, in patients with Ebstein anomaly (EA) during childhood and adolescence, we performed a multicenter retrospective study of all consecutive live-born patients with EA, diagnosed, and followed by pediatric cardiologists between 1980 and 2005 in The Netherlands. During a follow-up after EA diagnosis of 13 years 3 months (range: 6 days to 28 years 2 months), 16 (17\%) of the 93 pediatric EA patients exhibited rhythm disturbances. Nine patients showed arrhythmic events starting as of the neonatal period. Supraventricular tachycardia was noted in 11 patients. One patient died in the neonatal period due to intractable supraventricular tachycardia resulting in heart failure and one patient died at 5 weeks of age most probably due to an arrhythmic event. The 14 surviving patients all show preexcitation, albeit 4 of them intermittently, and all have a right-sided accessory pathway location. Nine patients underwent catheter ablation of an accessory pathway. Only four patients are currently on antiarrhythmic drugs. The 17\% prevalence of rhythm disturbances in pediatric EA patients, most commonly supraventricular arrhythmias, is significantly lower than in adult EA patients. Life-threatening rhythm disturbances are not frequent early in life. Symptomatic patients are well treated with radiofrequency catheter ablation.