Preexcited reciprocating tachycardia in patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome: Incidence and mechanisms

G. H. Bardy, D. L. Packer, L. D. German, J. J. Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


During the electrophysiologic study of 435 patients referred for evaluation of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, 42 (10%) had preexcited reciprocating tachycardia (defined as a macroreentrant tachycardia that used an accessory atrioventricular [AV] pathway for antegrade conduction). The ages of the patients ranged from 9 to 67 years (27 ± 14). Thirty-three were male patients, nine female, and eight had Ebstein's anomaly. Preexcited reciprocating tachycardia cycle length was 220 to 430 msec (294 ± 42). Significant hemodynamic compromise in the laboratory directly related to preexcitated reciprocating tachycardia occurred in only one patient. However, in 10 patients a transformation to atrial fibrillation was seen after a spontaneously occurring premature atrial contraction. Only 17 of the 42 patients with preexcited reciprocating tachycardia during electrophysiologic study had the same tachycardia documented clinically. These 17 patients were more often younger with multiple accessory pathways and with no history of orthodromic reciprocating tachycardia when compared with 25 patients in whom preexcited reciprocating tachycardia could be induced only in the laboratory. Preexcited reciprocating tachycardia was induced in the laboratory in 22 of 374 (6%) patients with single accessory pathways and in 20 of 61 (33%) of those with multiple accessory pathways. In the 20 patients with multiple accessory pathways, the spectrum of reentrant circuits included fusion over two or more accessory pathways or fusion over both an accessory pathway and the AV node. In the 22 patients with a single accessory pathway and true antidromic reciprocating tachycardia, all but two episodes were at least 4 cm from the AV node. No patient with true antidromic reciprocating tachycardia had a posterior septal accessory AV pathway. Only in patients with multiple accessory pathways was the posterior septal accessory AV pathway used as the antegrade limb.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-391
Number of pages15
Issue number3 I
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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