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Comparison of Electrophysiologic Profiles in Pediatric Patients with Incidentally Identified Pre-Excitation Compared with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome

      The rising utilization of screening electrocardiograms has resulted in increased incidental identification of ventricular pre-excitation in pediatric patients. We compared accessory pathways of incidentally identified pre-excitation to Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW) with the aim to identify factors important in preprocedural counseling and planning. This single-center, retrospective study of patients ≤18 years without congenital heart disease identified 227 patients diagnosed with pre-excitation and referred for invasive electrophysiology study between 2008 and 2017. WPW Syndrome was diagnosed in 178 patients, while 49 patients had incidental identification of pre-excitation. Anterograde conduction of incidentally identified accessory pathways was not clinically different between the two cohorts at baseline or upon isoproterenol infusion. However, the proportion of accessory pathways meeting high-risk criteria was significantly lower than in patients diagnosed with WPW, 12% versus 28% (p < 0.05). Retrograde conduction at baseline of incidentally diagnosed accessory pathways was slower with a median block cycle length 365 milliseconds (IQR 260 to 450) versus 290 milliseconds (IQR 260 to 330, p < 0.01). In the incidentally identified cohort, right-sided, paraHisian, and fascicular pathways were more common with fewer attempted ablations (71% vs 94%, p < 0.001) and lower success rate (91% vs 97%, p < 0.001). A binomial logistic regression analysis further indicated patients incidentally identified with pre-excitation were associated with having lower rates of inducible supraventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, and ablations performed, in addition, to having right-sided pathways. In conclusion, as patients with incidentally identified pre-excitation present more frequently for consideration of invasive electrophysiology study, these results impact procedural approaches, technical considerations, patient counseling, and outcome expectations.
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