Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Emerg Med. 1999 Feb;33(2):185-91.

Adenosine and pediatric supraventricular tachycardia in the emergency department: multicenter study and review.

Author information

Children's Hospitals and Clinics, St Paul, MN, USA.



To determine the frequency of successful cardioversion and the adverse effects of adenosine treatment in pediatric emergency department patients with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).


This was a multicenter descriptive study with both prospective (convenience sample) and retrospective (chart review) patient entry. The setting was 7 urban pediatric EDs with a yearly census range of 22,000 to 70,000 visits. Pediatric patients 18 years of age and younger who received intravenous adenosine for presumed SVT were eligible.


Six investigators from 7 pediatric EDs entered 82 patients with 98 presumed SVT episodes (52 prospective and 46 retrospective) into the study. Twenty-five episodes occurred in children younger than 1 year of age. Eight patients had congenital heart disease, 59 had a history of SVT, 43 were taking cardiac medications (digoxin in 27), 13 had a history of asthma, and 25 presented in compensated cardiogenic shock. A total of 193 intravenous doses of adenosine were administered; doses were classified as low (<.1 mg/kg [n=18]), medium (.1 to <.2 mg/kg [n=116]), or high (>/=.2 mg/kg [n=59]). The dose range was.03 to.5 mg/kg, and only 2 doses were higher than.3 mg/kg. A total of 95 patient-events were determined to be SVT, all but 5 of which were atrioventricular (AV) node-dependent; 3 events were ventricular tachycardia. The overall cardioversion success rate of adenosine was 72% (71/98), and that for AV node-dependent SVT was 79% (71/90). Cardioversion was successful for 4 patient-events at a low dose, 44 at a medium dose, and 23 at a high dose of adenosine. Adverse effects occurred in 22 patients, and no patient had bronchospasm or hemodynamically significant arrhythmia.


Intravenous administration of adenosine led to successful cardioversion in 72% of pediatric ED patient-events that were presumed to be SVT. A dose range of.1 to.3 mg/kg was found to be most effective. Adenosine was not associated with significant adverse effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center