Transesophageal Atrial Pacing during Echocardiography Exams

The pacing stress test: a reexamination of the relation between coronary artery disease and pacing-induced electrocardiographic changes.

Heller GV; Aroesty JM; McKay RG; Parker JA; Silverman KJ; Come PC; Grossman W. Am J Cardiol 1984, 54(1) p50-5. Electrocardiographic (ECG) changes during graded pacing-induced tachycardia have been considered unreliable as a test for the presence of coronary artery disease (CAD) because of poor sensitivity and specificity. As a result, atrial pacing has not been widely used as an alternative to exercise testing. However, the limited value of the pacing stress test may be related to technical aspects, such as the duration of pacing and ECG monitoring. To study this problem, 22 patients undergoing coronary cineangiography underwent standard exercise stress testing and graded tachycardia induced by atrial pacing. A 12-lead ECG recorder was used for both tests. Pacing tachycardia was terminated when 85% of maximal predicted heart rate had been achieved or when significant ischemic chest pain accompanied by diagnostic ECG changes occurred. The ECG was considered positive if at least 1 mm of horizontal or downsloping ST-segment depression was present. Six patients with normal or minimally diseased coronary arteries were compared to 16 patients with significant CAD. Of the patients without significant CAD, 5 (83%) had a negative electrocardiogram during both exercise and pacing. Of 16 patients with CAD, the electrocardiogram was positive for ischemia in 10 patients (63%) during exercise, in 15 (94%) during atrial pacing and in 12 (80%) after pacing. When the presence or absence of ECG changes was compared between the exercise and the pacing tests, there was a concordance of 90% (Fisher p less than 0.0015). Two patients without significant CAD (33%) had chest pain during both exercise and pacing. Among patients with CAD, 7 (44%) had chest pain during exercise and 8 (50%) had chest pain during atrial pacing.

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