Transesophageal Pacing for Temporary Heart Rate Acceleration and Management of Hemodynamics

Transesophageal atrial pacing (TAP) for sinus bradycardia during coronary artery bypass grafting: comparison of TAP to intermittent bolus gallamine.

Tomichek RC, Shields JA, Zimmerman RE. St. Thomas Hospital, Nashville. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth 1995, 9(3) p259-63. OBJECTIVE: To assess the relative efficacy of a pacing esophageal stethoscope and intermittent boluses (40 mg) of gallamine in correcting sinus bradycardia (SB) during coronary artery surgery. DESIGN: The study was prospective, randomized, and controlled. SETTING: A community hospital. PARTICIPANTS: Fifty patients scheduled for elective coronary artery surgery. INTERVENTIONS: The patients were randomly allocated to receive treatment for an SB (less than 60 BPM) with either transesophageal atrial pacing (TAP) or gallamine. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Heart rate, blood pressure, and systemic hemodynamics were measured. The electrocardiogram was monitored for rate, rhythm, and conduction abnormalities. Twenty-four of the 25 TAP patients could be paced at a rate of 70 BPM after SB. Cardiac index increased from 1.90 to 2.56 L/min/m2. In the gallamine group, heart rate was increased from 50 to 66 BPM, but cardiac index only increased to 2.2 L/min/m2, and 2 patients developed nodal rhythms. Eight of these patients had peak heart rates over 80 BPM, and two were over 90 BPM. CONCLUSIONS: The ability to reliably and precisely control heart rate was superior with TAP compared with intermittent bolus dosing with gallamine.

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