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Am J Cardiol. 2019 Aug 1;124(3):389-395. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2019.04.053. Epub 2019 May 10.

Comparison of Electrophysiologic Profiles in Pediatric Patients with Incidentally Identified Pre-Excitation Compared with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome.

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Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.
Division of Pediatric Cardiology, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, University of California, San Francisco, California.
Division of Pediatric Cardiology, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, University of California, San Francisco, California. Electronic address:


The rising utilization of screening electrocardiograms has resulted in increased incidental identification of ventricular pre-excitation in pediatric patients. We compared accessory pathways of incidentally identified pre-excitation to Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW) with the aim to identify factors important in preprocedural counseling and planning. This single-center, retrospective study of patients ≤18 years without congenital heart disease identified 227 patients diagnosed with pre-excitation and referred for invasive electrophysiology study between 2008 and 2017. WPW Syndrome was diagnosed in 178 patients, while 49 patients had incidental identification of pre-excitation. Anterograde conduction of incidentally identified accessory pathways was not clinically different between the two cohorts at baseline or upon isoproterenol infusion. However, the proportion of accessory pathways meeting high-risk criteria was significantly lower than in patients diagnosed with WPW, 12% versus 28% (p < 0.05). Retrograde conduction at baseline of incidentally diagnosed accessory pathways was slower with a median block cycle length 365 milliseconds (IQR 260 to 450) versus 290 milliseconds (IQR 260 to 330, p < 0.01). In the incidentally identified cohort, right-sided, paraHisian, and fascicular pathways were more common with fewer attempted ablations (71% vs 94%, p < 0.001) and lower success rate (91% vs 97%, p < 0.001). A binomial logistic regression analysis further indicated patients incidentally identified with pre-excitation were associated with having lower rates of inducible supraventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, and ablations performed, in addition, to having right-sided pathways. In conclusion, as patients with incidentally identified pre-excitation present more frequently for consideration of invasive electrophysiology study, these results impact procedural approaches, technical considerations, patient counseling, and outcome expectations.

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