Current Management of Focal Atrial Tachycardia in Children: A Multi-Center Experience
Background—Focal atrial tachycardia (FAT) is an uncommon cause of supraventricular tachycardia in children. Incessant FAT can lead to tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy. There is limited information regarding the clinical course and management of FAT. This study characterizes current management strategies for FAT in children including the prevalence of spontaneous resolution and the role of catheter ablation.
Methods and Results—This is a retrospective chart review of pediatric patients with FAT managed between January 2000 and November 2010 at 10 pediatric centers. There were 249 patients with a median age at diagnosis of 7.2 years (95% confidence interval (CI) 5.8-10.4 years). Cardiomyopathy was observed in 28%. Resolution of FAT occurred in 89% including spontaneous resolution without catheter ablation in 34%. Antiarrhythmic medications were used for initial therapy in 154 patients with control of FAT in 72%. Among first-line medications, beta blockers were the most common (53%) and effective (42%). Catheter ablation was successful in 80% of patients. FAT recurrence was less common with electroanatomic mapping compared to conventional mapping techniques (16% vs. 35%, p=0.02). Patients were followed for a median of 2.1 years (95% CI 1.8-2.6 years).
Conclusions—FAT is managed successfully in most children. Current approaches are variable. Many patients have control of FAT with medications; however, catheter ablation is used for most patients. Spontaneous resolution is common for young children, emphasizing the role for delayed ablation in this group. Ablation is successful for all ages. Lower recurrence occurs when electroanatomic mapping techniques are employed.
- Received September 5, 2012.
- Revision received May 2, 2014.
- Accepted June 16, 2014.