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February 1960

Paroxysmal Tachycardia in the Newborn

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics and Medicine B, Hadassah University Hospital.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1960;99(2):248-251. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1960.02070030250018

Introduction  Paroxysmal tachycardia is uncommon in the newborn, although in a few cases this condition was diagnosed even in utero.1-4 The early recognition of this rhythm disturbance is of major importance, as when untreated congestive heart failure rapidly develops. On the other hand, prompt treatment frequently leads to recovery of the infants. Many cases pass unrecognized or are misdiagnosed as upper respiratory infection or pneumonia.The clinical picture, prognosis, and treatment in older children has repeatedly been discussed,5-8 but reports of this condition in the newborn are scant.9-11,13 Among about 200 cases of paroxysmal tachycardia described in the past 65 years, only a few occurred in the first days of life.1-3,10 Supraventricular tachycardia is the commoner type of paroxysmal tachycardia in infancy, while atrial flutter is rare and only single cases have been reported in the newborn.2,3,11,13 No cases of ventricular tachycardia or atrial fibrillation

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