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Pediatrics. 1977 Feb;59(2):250-6.

Atrial fibrillation in children.

Abstract

Atrial fibrillation is rare in children. Previous reports associated it with severe rheumatic heart disease and a poor prognosis. This review is of the unique experience of 35 cases of atrial fibrillation in children in the past 22 years; 23 patients were boys. The age of onset ranged from 1 day to 19 years (average, 8 years). Associated cardiac conditions were severe rheumatic mitral regurgitation (3 cases), cardiomyopathy (5), atrial tumors (2), infective endocarditis (1), paroxysmal atrial tachycardia of infants (4), idiopathic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (1), Marfan's syndrome with mitral regurgitation (1), endocardial fibroelastosis (1), and structural congenital heart malformations (17). Surgical correction of congenital heart lesions was directly related to the development of atrial fibrillation in 14. Varying arrhythmias of the sick-sinus syndrome were observed in five children. The atrial fibrillation was paroxysmal or transient in 21 patients and persistent in 14. Treatment depended on the underlying condition. Digoxin was used in all cases and cardioversion attempted in ten; no patient was given anticoagulants. Three children had cerebral emboli, with residual defects. Eighteen patients are known to be alive, 13 are dead, and 4 are lost to follow-up. Atrial fibrillation in childhood is an indication for complete investigation of the patient and for the institution of treatment appropriate to the underlying disease.

PMID:
834508
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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