Impact of dipyridamole on adenosine dosing in pediatric and young adult patients after heart transplantation

Michael B. Satzer, Jonathan N. Flyer, Warren A. Zuckerman, Leonardo Liberman, Marc E. Richmond, Brett R. Anderson, Linda J. Addonizio, Eric S. Silver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Relative contraindications to adenosine use have included heart transplant and dipyridamole. We previously demonstrated the safety and efficacy of adenosine-induced atrioventricular (AV) block in healthy young heart transplant recipients while suspending dipyridamole therapy (dual antiplatelet agent). This prospective follow-up study evaluated the safety and efficacy of adenosine use in the same cohort of heart transplant recipients while on dipyridamole. Methods: Adenosine was incrementally dosed until AV block occurred (maximum 200 mcg/kg up to 12 mg). The primary outcome was clinically significant asystole (≥12 seconds). Secondary outcomes included maximal adenosine dose, AV block duration, dysrhythmias, and clinical symptoms. Outcomes were compared to the parent study. Results: Thirty of 39 eligible patients (5-24 years) were tested. No patient (0%, CI 0%-8%) experienced clinically significant asystole. AV block occurred in 29/30 patients (97%, CI 86%-100%). The median dose causing AV block was 50mcg/kg (vs 100 mcg/kg off dipyridamole; P =.011). Seventeen patients (57%, CI 39%-72%) required less adenosine to achieve AV block on dipyridamole; six (20%) required more. AV block occurred at doses ≥25 mcg/kg in all patients. In pairwise comparison to prior testing off dipyridamole, no significant change occurred in AV block duration, frequency of cardiac ectopy, or incidence of reported symptoms. No atrial fibrillation/flutter occurred. Conclusions: AV block often occurs at twofold lower adenosine doses in healthy young heart transplant recipients taking oral dipyridamole, compared with previous testing of this cohort off dipyridamole. Results suggest that initial dosing of 25 mcg/kg (maximum 0.8 mg) with stepwise escalation poses low risk of prolonged asystole on dipyridamole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13689
JournalPediatric Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • arrhythmia
  • atrioventricular block
  • heart transplant
  • supraventricular tachycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Transplantation


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