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Proarrhythmic effects of adenosine: a review of the literature


Adenosine is widely used as an antiarrhythmic agent for the investigation and management of both narrow complex and, less often, broad complex tachycardias. Over the past 10 years or so, reports of severe bradycardias and tachyarrhythmias being induced by this agent have appeared in the literature. As adenosine is increasingly used in emergency departments and indeed outside the hospital setting, a greater awareness of these potential problems is important. In this paper the evidence for such effects is summarised, and the mechanisms involved discussed.

  • VT, ventricular tachycardia
  • AV, atrioventricular
  • adenosine

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