Transesophageal Electrophysiology

The esophageal approach in rhythmology.

Mabo P, Gras D, Leclercq C, Daubert C. CHRU, 2, Rennes. Arch Mal Coeur Vaiss 1995 Dec;88 Spec No 5:43-7. The possibility of detecting the electrical activity of the heart from the oesophageus has been recognised for nearly a century. On the other hand, transesophageal pacing has only been really developped in the last fifteen years, which explains the recent interest for this technique in clinical practice. Easily put into practice, but not always well tolerated, the oesophageal approach has many uses in rhythmology. The principal diagnostic applications are in unlabelled tachycardias whether with narrow or wide QRS complexes, the evaluation of the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, the study of sinus node function or nodal conduction. The therapeutic applications are dominated by the reduction of supraventricular tachycardias especially atrial flutter, with a success rate similar to that of endocavitary stimulation. The facility of realisation, especially at the patient's bedside, without need for fluoroscopie control, makes it a useful tool in emergencies, especially if the endocavitary approach cannot be used. The only reserve is the painful character of pacing in some patients.

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