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Non-invasive Risk Stratification in Pediatric Ventricular Pre-excitation

Khaznadar, R.; Chandler, S. F.; Chaouki, A. S.; Tsao, S.; Webster, G.

Pediatr Cardiol. 2020 Jan 25; 41(4):709-715

Abstract

Children with ventricular pre-excitation are at risk for sudden death. This retrospective pediatric study identified patients > 8 years of age who had undergone electrophysiology study (EPS). Our primary objective was to determine the performance characteristics of non-invasive risk stratification. Subjects were separated into two groups. Group 1 was asymptomatic or had non-specific symptoms (palpitations, chest pain, and light headedness) without documented supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). Group 2 had syncope, documented SVT, or a life-threatening event. As a secondary aim, we tested whether patients with severe symptoms had a shorter time from the date of diagnosis to the date of invasive risk stratification. Among 93 patients with an average age of 14.2 years, 25 patients had documented SVT, 6 had syncope, and 1 had a life-threatening event. The sensitivity of non-invasive risk stratification was 7%. The specificity was 91%. The positive predictive valve was 14% and the negative predictive value was 84%. Even patients with severe symptoms commonly underwent non-invasive risk stratification prior to EPS, albeit at a lower rate (Group 1, 98%; Group 2 84%, p = 0.02). The median time to EPS was 4.2 months (Group 1) and 4.5 months (Group 2, p = 0.63). Non-invasive risk stratification was a poor predictor of invasive risk stratification. Cardiologists should counsel families about the limitations of non-invasive risk stratification and consider starting with invasive risk stratification and possible ablation. Counterintuitively, severe symptoms were not associated with a shorter time to electrophysiology study.

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