Transesophageal Cardioversion and Defibrillation

The transesophageal approach to the heart in electrotherapy of tachycardia. II. Transesophageal cardioversion by means of direct current shock.

Volkmann H, Paliege R, Muller S, Weise C, Kuhnert H. Z Gesamte Inn Med 1981 Dec 15;36(24):951-7. Electric experiments of cardioversion by means of direct current shock using special oesophagus electrodes were performed in 153 cases of various tachycardiac disturbances of rhythm. Here we succeeded in the conversion to the sinus rhythm in 86% of the patients with auricular flutter, in 84% of the cases with auricular fibrillation, in 3 of 4 patients with auricular tachycardias, in 10 patients with AV-junctional tachycardias without exception and in 5 of the 6 cases of ventricular tachycardias. Thus, the rate of an immediate success approximately corresponds to the conventional extrathoracic position of the electrodes. Here the smaller expenditure of energy with the possibility of an electrocardioversion also without anaesthesia as well as the readiness to the immediate electrostimulation in the case of an asystolia after cardioversion represent the essential advantages of the transoesophageal way. Despite the smaller rate of success on account of the smaller possibilities of complication, however, primarily transoesophageal stimulation techniques should be used (with the exception in auricular f), in which cases the use special oesophagus as in their failure following cardioversions by means of direct current shock transoesophageally through the same non-invasive approach. Moreover, the analysis of the oesophageally derivable ECG-potentials may facilitate the differentiation of the preexisting tachycardia.

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