An unusual form of atrioventricular (A-V) nodal reentry is described as the underlying mechanism for incessant tachycardia in two children. During tachycardia a fast pathway was utilized for anterograde conduction and a slow pathway for retrograde conduction. This is the reverse of the usual form of A-V nodal reentrant tachycardia, in which the slow pathway is utilized for anterograde conduction and the fast pathway for retrograde conduction. One patient had a smooth ventriculoatrial (V-A) conduction curve demonstrating exclusive utilization of the slow pathway for retrograde conduction. The other had a discontinuous V-A conduction curve demonstrating failure of retrograde fast pathway conduction with resultant slow pathway conduction. In both cases the retrograde effective refractory period of the fast pathway was longer than that of the slow pathway, resulting in the establishment of this unusual reentry circuit. Both patients had a superior P axis with a P-R interval shorter than the R-P interval during tachycardia, features described in a significant number of children with incessant tachycardia. This unusual form of reentrant tachycardia can be suggested by its electrocardiographic pattern and is another mechanism for reentrant tachycardia not previously documented in children.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine