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This article is the author’s final published version in Journal of Clinical Medicine, Volume 12, Issue 3, February 2023, Article number 969.

The published version is available at Copyright © Zivan et al.


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with pulmonary involvement and cardiac arrhythmias, including supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). Adenosine is commonly used to treat SVT and is generally safe, but is rarely associated with bronchospasm. There are no data regarding the safety of adenosine use in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia and physicians may hesitate to use it in such patients. We surveyed resident physicians and cardiology attendings regarding their level of comfort in administering adenosine to hospitalized COVID-19 patients. We compared a study group of 42 COVID-19 hospitalized patients who received adenosine for SVT to a matched (for age, sex, and co-morbidities) control group of 42 non-COVID-19 hospitalized patients during the same period, all of whom received IV adenosine for SVT. Escalation of care following intravenous adenosine administration was defined as increased/new pressor requirement, need for higher O2 flow rates, need for endotracheal intubation, new nebulizer therapy, or transfer to intensive care unit within 2 h of adenosine administration. Survey results showed that 82% (59/72) of residents and 62% (16/26) of cardiologists expressed hesitation/significant concerns regarding administering adenosine in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Adenosine use was associated with escalation of care in 47.6% (20/42) COVID-19 as compared to 50% (21/42) non-COVID-19 patients (odds ratio 0.95, 95% CI 0.45-2.01, p = NS). Escalation of care was more likely in patients who were on higher FiO2, on prior nebulizer therapy, required supplemental oxygen, or were already on a ventilator. In conclusion, we identified significant hesitation among physicians regarding the use of adenosine for SVT in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. In this study, there was no evidence of increased harm from administering adenosine to patients with SVT and COVID-19. This finding needs to be confirmed in larger studies. Based on the current evidence, adenosine for treatment of SVT in this setting should not be avoided. Key Points: Question: Given the known bronchospastic effects of adenosine, is the use of adenosine safe for treatment of supraventricular tachycardia in hospitalized patients with COVID-19? Findings: A survey of residents and cardiology attending identified that a majority expressed some level of apprehension in using adenosine for SVT in COVID-19 patients. In our matched cohort study, we found adenosine use to be comparably safe in COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 hospitalized patients. Meaning: Based on current evidence, adenosine for treatment of SVT in this setting should not be avoided.

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