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This study investigated the efficacy of ivabradine monotherapy in pediatric patients with focal atrial tachycardia (FAT). We prospectively enrolled 12 pediatric patients (7.5 ± 4.5 years; six girls) with FAT who were resistant to conventional antiarrhythmics and received ivabradine as monotherapy. Patients were classified as having tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy (TIC) if they had a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of < 50% and a left ventricular end-diastolic dimension (LVDD) z-score of > 2 due to tachycardia. Oral ivabradine was initiated at 0.1 mg/kg every 12 h, increased to 0.2 mg/kg every 12 h if no restoration of stable sinus rhythm was observed after two doses, and discontinued after 48 h if neither rhythm nor heart rate control was observed. Of these patients, six (50%) had incessant atrial tachycardia, and 6 had frequent short episodes of FAT. Six patients were diagnosed with TIC, and their mean LVEF and mean LVDD z-score were 36.2 ± 8.7% (range, 27-48%) and 4.2 ± 1.7 (range, 2.2-7.3), respectively. Finally, six patients achieved either rhythm (n = 3) or heart rate control (n = 3) within 48 h of ivabradine monotherapy. One patient achieved rhythm/heart rate control with ivabradine at a dose of 0.1 mg/kg every 12 h, while the others achieved rhythm/heart rate control at a dose of 0.2 mg/kg every 12 h. Five patients received ivabradine monotherapy for chronic therapy, one (20%) of whom had FAT breakthrough 1 month after discharge, and metoprolol was added. Neither FAT recurrence nor adverse effect (with or without beta-blocker) was observed during a median follow-up of 5 months. Ivabradine is well-tolerated and may provide early heart rate control in pediatric FAT and can be considered early, especially in the presence of left ventricular dysfunction. Further investigations are deserved to confirm the optimal dose and long-term efficacy in this population. • Focal atrial tachycardia (FAT) is the most common arrhythmia associated with tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy (TIC) in children, and the efficacy of conventional antiarrhythmic medications in the treatment of FAT is poor. • Ivabradine is currently the only selective hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) inhibitor, which can effectively low HR without negative effect on blood pressure or inotropy. • Ivabradine (0.1-0.2 mg/kg every 12 h) can effectively suppress focal atrial tachycardia in 50% of pediatric patients. • Ivabradine provides early control of heart rate and hemodynamic stabilization in children with severe left ventricular dysfunction due to atrial tachycardia within 48 h. © 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


Xinyi Xu, Ying Guo, Wei Gao, Meirong Huang, Tingliang Liu, Fen Li. Ivabradine monotherapy in pediatric patients with focal atrial tachycardia: a single-center study. European journal of pediatrics. 2023 May;182(5):2265-2271

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PMID: 36869903

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