The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of amiodarone used alone or in combination with propranolol in infants and children affected by life-threatening or drug-resistant tachyarrhythmias. The study included 27 children (median age 3 months), affected by life-threatening and/or drug- resistant supraventricular or ventricular tachyarrhythmias. The loading dose of amiodarone was 10-20 mg/kg/day and the maintenance dose ranged between 3 and 20 mg/kg/day. When amiodarone was ineffective, propranolol was added at a dosage of 2-4 mg/kg/day. The study population was divided into two groups: group A was composed of patients 1 year. The effectiveness of the therapy was assessed by clinical evaluation, Holter monitoring, exercise testing, and, in patients with reentry tachycardias, electrophysiological testing. Amiodarone used alone was effective or partially effective in 4/14 (28%) patients in group A and in 11/13 (85%) patients in group B (p <0.006). Among amiodarone-resistant patients, the combined therapy with propranolol was effective in 8/10 patients in group A and 2/2 patients in group B. Therefore, amiodarone used alone or in combination with propranolol was effective in 25/27 (93%) patients. During the follow-up (20.5 ± 13 months) there were no arrhythmic effects but side effects were noted in 5/27 (18.5%) patients. Amiodarone seems to be an effective drug in the control of the life-threatening and/or drug-resistant supraventricular and ventricular tachyarrhythmias in children. The addition of propranolol can significantly enhance the success rate of this class III drug, especially in the treatment of reentry tachycardias due to accessory pathways.
- Supraventricular tachycardia
- Ventricular tachycardia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health