Transesophageal Cardioversion and Defibrillation

Observations on induction and termination of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia by external pacing.

Grubb BP, Markel ML, Artman SE, Post WR, Luck JC. Department of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, University Hospital, Hershey. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 1992 Nov;15(11 Pt 2):1944-52. Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) can be reproducibly induced and terminated by critically timed atrial or ventricular depolarizations. In this study, noninvasive transcutaneous (external) cardiac pacing (NTCP) was compared to endocardial ventricular pacing for the termination and induction of PSVT. In 24 patients, either atrioventricular (AV) nodal reentrant tachycardia or AV reciprocating tachycardia was reproducibly terminated with either critically timed ventricular depolarizations or overdrive ventricular pacing from an endocardial right ventricular site. There were 32 trials of NTCP attempts to interrupt PSVT in the 24 patients. External pacing was successful at terminating PSVT in 23 patients and in 30 of 32 (94%) trials. In 20 patients, there were 26 trials of external pacing attempts to induce PSVT. External pacing initiated PSVT in 21 of 26 trials (81%). The pacing sequences used to induce and terminate PSVT with external pacing were copied from the endocardial sequences. The external pacing threshold averaged 77 +/- 22 mA but the current needed to terminate PSVT was about 1.5 greater than threshold at 117 +/- 27 mA. Serial external pacing studies were performed in seven patients. The thresholds for external pacing were similar from trial to trial as were the mode of termination and induction between the endocardial and external methods. External pacing can terminate most AV reciprocating tachycardias and many AV nodal reentrant tachycardias. It appears promising as a means of inducing PSVT. However, the high stimulation amplitudes needed will prohibit wide acceptance of external pacing for induction and termination of PSVT.

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