Eight trials (692 patients) were eligible. Trial quality appeared poor to moderate with a median Jadad score of 2 out of a possible 5.
There was no significant difference between adenosine and verapamil for conversion of supraventricular tachycardia (OR 1.27, 95% CI 0.63 to 2.57; eight trials). There was moderate heterogeneity (Ι²= 26%).
The odds of reported adverse events were higher with adenosine than verapamil (OR 11.49, 95% CI 2.01 to 65.66) but the precision of the effect was low and heterogeneity was substantial (Ι²=88%). Hypotension was reported as a discrete adverse event in seven studies and was more prevalent in patients treated with verapamil (3.7%) than adenosine (0.6%). This difference was statistically significant (p=0.016).
Results were reported for other outcomes.