Use of amiodarone for short-term and adjuvant therapy in young patients

Giacomo Pongiglione, Janette F. Strasburger, Barbara J. Deal, D. Woodrow Benson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Limited data are available defining the safety of amiodarone for short-term use or as part of combination antiarrhythmic therapy in pediatric patients. Results of amiodarone in 47 young patients for an average treatment duration of 12 months were examined. There were 21 male and 26 female patients (age range of 23 weeks gestation to 29 years). Patients were divided into 4 groups: group 1-electrocardiographic documented ventricular tachycardia (n = 7); group 2-syncope of unknown cause (n = 16); group 3-primary atrial tachycardia (n = 11); and group 4-supraventricular tachycardia (n = 13). Amiodarone was clinically useful in 32 (68%) patients. Amiodarone was considered effective as a sole antiarrhythmic agent in 21 (45%) patients. Treatment was ineffective but was continued in 11 (23%) patients; in 10 of these 11 patients amiodarone was adjuvant to other antiarrhythmic drugs. Amiodarone was considered ineffective and was withdrawn in 15 (32%) patients. No patient required cardiac pacemaker implant during therapy. Torsades de pointes and cardiac arrest occurred in 1 patient each after 9 and 14 days of therapy, respectively. Two patients underwent successful cardiac transplant after 2 and 14 months of amiodarone administration, respectively. Amiodarone was used as short-term treatment (<18 months) in 7 infants (age <18 months), and after cessation of treatment there was no recurrence of tachycardia for 4 to 24 months. Results of this study confirm reports of successful amiodarone use in pediatric patients with a variety of rhythm disturbances. Results in the pediatric patients evaluated in this study indicate that amiodarone is useful both as short-term treatment and as adjuvant therapy with other antiarrhythmic drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-608
Number of pages6
JournalThe American journal of cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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