Comparison of transplacental treatment of fetal supraventricular tachyarrhythmias with digoxin, flecainide, and sotalol: Results of a nonrandomized multicenter study

Edgar T. Jaeggi, Julene S. Carvalho, Ernestine De Groot, Olus Api, Sally Ann B. Clur, Lukas Rammeloo, Brian W. McCrindle, Greg Ryan, Cedric Manlhiot, Nico A. Blom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND-: Fetal tachyarrhythmia may result in low cardiac output and death. Consequently, antiarrhythmic treatment is offered in most affected pregnancies. We compared 3 drugs commonly used to control supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and atrial flutter (AF). METHODS AND RESULTS-: We reviewed 159 consecutive referrals with fetal SVT (n=114) and AF (n=45). Of these, 75 fetuses with SVT and 36 with AF were treated nonrandomly with transplacental flecainide (n=35), sotalol (n=52), or digoxin (n=24) as a first-line agent. Prenatal treatment failure was associated with an incessant versus intermittent arrhythmia pattern (n=85; hazard ratio [HR]=3.1; P<0.001) and, for SVT, with fetal hydrops (n=28; HR=1.8; P=0.04). Atrial flutter had a lower rate of conversion to sinus rhythm before delivery than SVT (HR=2.0; P=0.005). Cardioversion at 5 and 10 days occurred in 50% and 63% of treated SVT cases, respectively, but in only 25% and 41% of treated AF cases. Sotalol was associated with higher rates of prenatal AF termination than digoxin (HR=5.4; P=0.05) or flecainide (HR=7.4; P=0.03). If incessant AF/SVT persisted to day 5 (n=45), median ventricular rates declined more with flecainide (-22%) and digoxin (-13%) than with sotalol (-5%; P<0.001). Flecainide (HR=2.1; P=0.02) and digoxin (HR=2.9; P=0.01) were also associated with a higher rate of conversion of fetal SVT to a normal rhythm over time. No serious drug-related adverse events were observed, but arrhythmia-related mortality was 5%. CONCLUSION-: Flecainide and digoxin were superior to sotalol in converting SVT to a normal rhythm and in slowing both AF and SVT to better-tolerated ventricular rates and therefore might be considered first to treat significant fetal tachyarrhythmia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1747-1754
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation
Volume124
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 18 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of transplacental treatment of fetal supraventricular tachyarrhythmias with digoxin, flecainide, and sotalol: Results of a nonrandomized multicenter study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this