December 12, 2019

Background: The 2015 American Heart Association guidelines for Adult Advanced Cardiac Life Support recommend adenosine in non-hypotensive patients in regular narrow-complex supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).  Adenosine has a rapid onset and a half-life that is <10 seconds, which makes it an ideal agent for hemodynamically stable SVT. Typically, adenosine is administered as an initial 6mg rapid IV bolus over 1 – 2 seconds followed by a rapid 10 – 20mL saline flush.  If SVT is not terminated and normal sinus rhythm maintained within 1 – 2 minutes, a repeat dose of 12mg is given followed by a 10 – 20mL saline flush, and this can be repeated for a total of 3 doses. Because of the short half-life of adenosine, several advocate for a two-way stopcock, where adenosine and a 10 – 20mL saline flush are given in tandem. The logistics and timing with using a two way stopcock can be challenging and can result in less rapid flush than intended.

October 17, 2019

Background: In patients with hemodynamically stable supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), vagal maneuvers are the traditional first step in management.  There are several  vagal techniques in the literature which include, standard valsalva maneuver (sVM), modified Valsalva maneuver (mVM), and carotid sinus massage (CSM). All three techniques aim to increase vagal tone to slow down conduction in the AV node and, hopefully, result in termination of Atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia (AVNRT)and atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia (AVRT).  The authors of this trial performed a RCT evaluating the effectiveness of sVM vs mVM vs CSM at not only terminating SVT but also having a sustained effect up to 5 minutes.

September 23, 2019

Background: Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is not an uncommon condition in the emergency department. Epidemiologically, SVT has an incidence of 35/100,000 person-years in the United States.2That is roughly 89,000 new cases per year. The Valsalva maneuver is a recognized treatment for SVT, but has a low success rate (5-20%). 3,4,5 The REVERT trial showed an increase in cardioversion of SVT using a modified Valsalva maneuver, but this was done with a manometer, and adjustable bed, which may not be available in many settings.

September 14, 2015

Background: In patients with cardiovascularly stable supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), the valsalva maneuver is recommended as an initial maneuver to help with cardioversion. The success rate of the valsalva maneuver alone is documented at 5 – 20%. The next option for patients who still remain in SVT is intravenous adenosine. Adenosine briefly stops all conduction through the AV node, which causes patients to feel a sense of doom or like they are about to die. Increasing venous return and vagal stimulation by laying patients supine and elevating their legs may increase the rate of conversion and is simple, safe, and cost effective.
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