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Types of Arrhythmias
At NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, we treat heart rhythm disorders in children and adolescents such as:
- Arrhythmias after surgery for congenital heart disease
- Arrhythmias related to hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathy
- Brugada syndrome
- Heart block
- Long QT syndrome, which predisposes patients to a life-threatening arrhythmia called Torsades de pointes
- Supraventricular tachycardia
- Ventricular tachycardia
- Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome
We also assess young patients with a family member who died suddenly because of a heart problem.
How We Diagnose Arrhythmias
In addition to invasive electrophysiologic studies, our team performs non-invasive diagnostic procedures in children with palpitations or syncope (fainting or temporary loss of consciousness). These procedures include:
- 24-hour Holter monitoring
- Event recording
- Stress testing
How We Treat Pediatric Arrhythmias
- Some children's arrhythmias respond to treatment with medications.
- Sometimes we need to try different drugs before we identify which medication works best for your child.
During an ablation procedure, which we perform in a Pediatric Catheterization Lab, the pediatric electrophysiologist inserts catheters into the child's veins via the groin and advances them toward the heart.
- The catheters electrically stimulate the heart to induce the abnormal rhythm that has been causing the child's symptoms.
- The pediatric electrophysiologist interprets the rhythm, and then delivers energy via the catheter, using either radiofrequency energy or cryotherapy (freezing temperatures). These therapies eliminate the cause of the abnormal rhythm and can permanently cure your child's problem.
- To ensure your child is comfortable during the procedure, we perform most studies under anesthesia delivered by an experienced pediatric anesthesia team. We have performed these procedures in children of all ages, including young infants.
- Our electrophysiologists also have expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of children with slow heart rhythms and different types of heart block that may require implantation of a pacemaker. When the heart rhythm is too slow, a pacemaker can stimulate the heart, preventing symptoms.
- For children with certain conditions that can lead to a life-threatening fast arrhythmia, we may use a permanent implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD). An ICD can potentially save a child's life by sensing and treating a life-threatening arrhythmia.