Nineteen procedures were performed in 17 children, aged 10 months to 17 years, using catheter radiofrequency applications for the management of malignant or drug-resistant supraventricular tachyarrhythmias. Diagnoses were junctional ectopic tachycardia in 1 patient, atrioventricular (AV) node reentrant tachycardia in 4 and accessory pathway-mediated tachycardia in 12. Accessory pathway locations were left lateral (n = 4), posteroseptal (n = 3), left posterior (n = 2), right posterolateral (n = 1), right posterior paraseptal (n = 1), right intermediate septal (n = 1) and right anterior (n = 1). Ablation of accessory pathways was performed using 20 to 40 W of energy. The catheter was passed retrograde to the left ventricle in patients with a left-sided pathway and anterograde to the right atrium in those with a right-sided or posteroseptal pathway. In the 12 patients with an accessary pathway, radiofrequency applications were successful in 11 pathways and failed in 2. There were no recurrences of accessory pathway-mediated tachycardia. Atrioventricular node reentrant tachycardia was treated by AV node modification using 15 W of energy applied until first degree AV block occurred. After radiofrequency catheter ablation, there was a prolonged AH interval, tachycardia was not inducible and tachycardia recurred in one patient. For the patient with junctional ectopic tachycardia, 15 to 18 W of energy was delivered at the site of the maximal His bundle electrogram until sinus rhythm and normal AV conduction appeared. After a recurrence, a second procedure abolished tachycardia and AV conduction. In summary, radiofrequency catheter ablation was initially successful in 17 of 19 procedures and ultimately curative in 14 (82%) of 17 patients with no serious complications. Radiofrequency catheter ablation appears to be a safe and effective method for the management of supraventricular tachyarrhythmias in children.