Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
2 year old girl with possible tachycardia
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2 year old girl with possible tachycardia

my two year old daughter was diagnosed with a possible tachycardia. the doctor said he would order an ultrasound so they could see the heart , beacuse he thinks there might be thicking of the heart muscle. he said there were a few unusal things he saw on her ECG. but i noticed when shes sleeping her heart rate beats fast and then slows in a pattern. her heart will beat five or six times pause then do it all over again, in basically the same pattern i just described.. i was told that could be a sinus arrythmia. so is it possible to have a sinus arrythmia with the tachycardia? and are any of these life threating? i dont go back to the pediatric cardiologist untill three weeks from now. thanks for any help.
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773637_tn?1327450515
Dear Monie,

My first response to these concerns is that your cardiologist should actually be able to explain all of this for you.  Please do make sure that you get him to spend the time with you and do this.  I cannot say for sure exactly what was seen on the ECG, nor can I say if it is life-threatening, as I have no real information to review.  That said, sinus arrhythmia, also known as respiratory variation, is a normal finding.  It occurs when the heart rate speeds up a little as you breathe in and slows down as you breathe out.  We tend to see it in a bit more of an exaggerated form in children, as compared to adults.  I do not know what other tachycardia or heart thickening your cardiologist is specifically concerned about.  My guess is that the ECG suggested that one of the heart chambers was enlarged (dilated) or thickened (hypertrophied).  I will say that ECGs are very good for assessing heart rhythm, but are only okay at estimating chamber size, so if there is a concern on the ECG, an echocardiogram would be an appropriate next test.
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
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