Transesophageal Atrial Pacing during Echocardiography Exams

Transesophageal atrial stimulation–a test for myocardial ischemia.

Jovic A, Nekic-Borcilo M, Troskot R, Nekic D, Knezevic A, Rados G. Lijec Vjesn 1994 Jan-Feb;116(1-2):35-40 The aim of the present study was to determine clinical value and the feasibility of transesophageal atrial pacing (TAP) in diagnosing myocardial ischemia in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Forty patients with CAD and with significant ST-segment depression in a standard 12-lead ECG during bicycle-stress testing underwent TAP. Rapid atrial stimulation was performed by using a very flexible six-polar polyurethane pacing lead introduced through the nares into the esophagus and connected to the stimulator allowing selection of rate, output voltage and pulse duration. The satisfactory atrial pacing was obtained by 28 +/- 6 V output and 7 +/- 1 ms pulse duration. Of 40 patients who underwent TAP, ischemic ECG changes were induced in 35 (u = 2,24 p < 0,05) and were very similar to those that occurred during bicycle-stress testing according to their intensity and distribution and affected ECG leads with comparable peak rate-pressure products. This suggests comparable sensitivity of TAP and bicycle-stress testing in discovering myocardial ischemia in CAD patients. Four patients had negative test for myocardial ischemia and in one TAP was discontinued because of intolerable chest discomfort. In conclusion, TAP is a reliable alternative technique for the assessment of coronary artery disease. In combination with some other noninvasive methods (echocardiography, scintigraphy, i.v. digital angiography), it has become a routine diagnostic procedure in cardiac patients.

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