Transesophageal Electrophysiology

A gastroesophageal electrode for electrophysiological studies

McEneaney DJ, Escalona O, Anderson JA, Adgey AA. Regional Medical Cardiology Centre, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 1999 Mar;22(3):487-99. A novel gastroesophageal electrode has been developed capable of atrial and ventricular pacing. We performed electrophysiological studies using the gastroesophageal electrode (Esothoracic) and compared the results with the standard endocardial approach. The flexible polythene gastroesophageal electrode was passed into the stomach under light sedation. Five ring electrodes, now positioned in the lower esophagus were used for bipolar atrial pacing and recording. Ventricular pacing was performed using a cathodic point source on the gastroesophageal electrode tip; the indifferent electrode (anode) was a high impedance chest pad. Parameters of sinus and AV nodal function were obtained by atrial pacing. Programmed ventricular stimulation was performed using a standard protocol. These electrophysiological parameters were subsequently determined using the endocardial approach. There was close correlation between measurements of sinus and AV node function using the two approaches in 48 subjects: sinus node recovery time (SNRT) r2 = 0.70, corrected sinus node recovery time (CSNRT) r2 = 0.87, AV Wenckebach cycle length (AVWCL) r2 = 0.97. The degree of agreement between the two approaches was estimated by the mean difference delta and standard deviation of the difference sigma (SNRT delta = 40 ms, sigma = 257 ms; CSNRT sigma = 14 ms, delta = 164 ms; AVWCL sigma = 7 ms, delta = 16 ms). Programmed ventricular stimulation was performed in 15 of 48 subjects with known or suspected ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Seven had ventricular tachycardia induced using both esothoracic and endocardial programmed ventricular stimulation. One subject was noninducible using esothoracic programmed ventricular stimulation, but inducible at endocardial electrophysiological studies. Another subject was inducible at esothoracic electrophysiological studies, but noninducible using endocardial programmed ventricular stimulation. Six subjects were noninducible using both endocardial and esothoracic programmed ventricular stimulation. The gastroesophageal electrode permits reliable atrial and ventricular pacing without transvenous catheterization or fluoroscopy. Electrophysiological parameters determined using this electrode are similar to those obtained using endocardial stimulation.

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