Comparison of cardiac refractory periods in children and adults.
Atrial (A) and A-V nodal (AVN) effective and functional refractory periods (ERP & FRP) were determined by atrial extrastimulus technique in 40 children, aged 7 months to 16 years, with normal P-R intervals and QRS durations. These data were compared to adult data at longest cycle lengths (CL) assuring atrial capture. All values are listed in msec as means plus or minus standard errors of the means. CL was 566 plus or minus 15 in children and 699 plus or minus 29 in adults (P less than .001). Refractory periods (RP) in children and adults were, respectively: AERP 196 plus or minus 9 and 239 plus or minus 13 (P less than .01), AFRP 225 plus or minus 8 and 284 plus or minus 11 (P less than .001), AVNERP 239 plus or minus 11 and 293 plus or minus 7 (P smaller than .001), AVNFRP 360 plus or minus 13 and 403 plus or minus 7 (P smaller than .005). RP were then compared at three equivalent CL ranges: CL1, 850-600; CL2 599-460; CL3 459-280. The following RP were significantly shorter in children (P smaller than .05-.001): AERP, AFRP, AVENERP and AVNFRP at CL2 and CL3. RP of the bundle branches were compared and tended to be shorter in children. In conclusion, atrial and A-V nodal ERP and FRP are shorter in children than adults. This shortening is only partially related to the shorter CL in children. These data are germane to understanding the maturation of the conduction system in man.
- Copyright © 1975 by American Heart Association