Junctional ectopic tachycardia: Recognition and modern management strategies

Kirsti G. Catton, Jennifer K. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Junctional ectopic tachycardia is a common dysrhythmia after congenital heart surgery that is associated with increased perioperative morbidity and mortality. Risk factors for development of junctional ectopic tachycardia include young age (neonatal and infant age groups); hypomagnesemia; higher-complexity surgical procedure, especially near the atrioventricular node or His bundle; and use of exogenous cate-cholamines such as dopamine and epinephrine. Critical care nurses play a vital role in early recognition of dysrhythmias after congenital heart surgery, assessment of hemodynamics affecting cardiac output, and monitoring the effects of antiarrhythmic therapy. This article reviews the underlying mechanisms of junctional ectopic tachycardia, incidence and risk factors, and treatment options. Currently, amiodarone is the pharmacological treatment of choice, with dexmedetomidine increasingly used because of its antiarrhythmic properties and sedative effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-55
Number of pages10
JournalCritical care nurse
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care


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