Ventricular pre-excitation: Symptomatic and asymptomatic children have the same potential risk of sudden cardiac death

Corrado Di Mambro, Mario Salvatore Russo, Daniela Righi, Silvia Placidi, Rosalinda Palmieri, Massimo Stefano Silvetti, Fabrizio Gimigliano, Monica Prosperi, Fabrizio Drago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims Children and adolescents with ventricular pre-excitation (VPE) are at increased risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD). Although antiarrhythmic therapy and catheter ablation are well established temporary or definitive treatments for patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, the optimal management of children with asymptomatic VPE remains to be clearly defined. On the basis of the most recent guidelines and recommendations, the aim of this study was to determine the electrophysiological characteristics of young patients with VPE and WPW syndrome to assess and compare their potential risk of SCD. Methods and results We retrospectively investigated 124 consecutive young patients with VPE (51 with WPW syndrome and 73 asymptomatic) who underwent transoesophageal electrophysiological study. At baseline, atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia (AVRT) was induced in 13 WPW vs. 10 asymptomatic patients (25.5 vs. 13.7%, P = NS). Atrial fibrillation (AF) was induced in 13 WPW vs. 15 asymptomatic patients (25.5 vs. 20.5%, P = NS). A shortest pre-excited R-R interval (SPERRI) ≤250 ms during AF was found in four WPW vs. six asymptomatic patients (30.8 vs. 40%, P = NS). During isoproterenol infusion or stress testing, AVRT was induced in 31 of 44 WPW vs. 33 of 69 asymptomatic patients (70.4 vs. 47.8%, P = 0.018). Atrial fibrillation was induced in 12 of 44 WPW vs. 21 of 69 asymptomatic patients (27.3 vs. 30.4%, P = NS). A SPERRI ≤ 210 ms was found in 6 of 12 WPW vs. 10 of 21 asymptomatic patients (50 vs. 47.6%, P = NS). No statistically significant correlation was observed between accessory pathway location and symptoms, AVRT/AF inducibility, or mean APERP/SPERRI values. Conclusion Children and adolescents with WPW syndrome have a higher rate of AVRT inducibility than asymptomatic patients. However, no differences between the two groups were found in atrial vulnerability and parameters related to the risk of SCD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-621
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Paediatric age
  • Sudden cardiac death
  • Ventricular pre-excitation
  • WPW syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Ventricular pre-excitation: Symptomatic and asymptomatic children have the same potential risk of sudden cardiac death'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this