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Revista Colombiana de Cardiología

Print version ISSN 0120-5633


JARAMILLO D, Juan F. Fetal tachyarrhythmia. Rev. Colom. Cardiol. [online]. 2009, vol.16, n.1, pp.35-47. ISSN 0120-5633.

A heart with a not much distensible structure, surrounded by a membrane, and only able to react with the heart rate for maintaining its cardiac output, has a narrow margin of tolerance in front of tachyarrhythmias. Persistent heart rates >200/min generate abnormally high pressure on the heart and the venous system. Hydrops and placental edema are common final outcomes before fetal death, that still at this point can be controlled and reverted. Although theoretically any type of arrhythmias could be developed in the fetus, 90% of fetal tachyarrhythmias correspond to supraventricular reciprocant tachycardia and flutter. Both types of arrhythmias may respond to digoxin, although some are refractory to this drug. Ultrasound application to the heart allows not only to rule out associated heart anomalies, but to realize treatment protocols. The measurement of the relation between ventricular-atrial and atrio-ventricular times allows to consider another type of arrhythmias such as junctional ectopic tachycardia, permanent junctional reprocicant tachycardia, etc., and to include other antiarrhythmics such as amiodarone, flecainide and sotalol among others. The main administration route of antiarrhythmics is the transplacental. Therefore not only the fetus but also the mother is exposed to drug side effects. A multidisciplinary group will confront this situation in order to offer both mother and fetus the best result.

Keywords : fetal tachyarrhythmia; fetal tachycardia; fetal electrocardiography; arrhythmia treatment.

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