Transesophageal Electrophysiology

Effects of propofol on the human heart electrical system: a transesophageal pacing electrophysiologic study.

Romano R, Ciccaglioni A, Fattorini F, Quaglione R, Favaro R, Arcioni R, Conti G, Gasparetto A. University La Sapienza, Rome Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 1994; 38(1):30-2. Previous studies have shown that infusion of propofol has sometimes been associated with bradyarrhythmias. To evaluate the effects of propofol on the electrical system of the heart, we carried out an electrophysiologic study with transesophageal pacing on ten healthy subjects scheduled for minor elective maxillo-facial surgery. By means of atrial pacing conducted by a progressive increase in stimulation cycles, we determined, in awake patients and during propofol anesthesia (2.5 mg kg-1 for induction, followed by 100 micrograms kg-1 min-1 for maintenance), the correct sinus recovery time and the eventual appearance of Wenckebach atrio-ventricular block. We did not notice sinoatrial node depression or pathologic increase in the atrio-ventricular conduction.

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