Transesophageal Electrophysiology

Transesophageal pacing in the diagnosis of accelerated atrioventricular conduction.

Patruno N, Pulignano G, Urbani P, Greco C, Critelli G. Cardiologia 34(1):87-91, 1989. The term "enhanced atrioventricular nodal conduction" (EAVN) is used to indicate an electrophysiologic condition characterized by subnormal conduction delay with reduced decremental properties in the AV node, which can be responsible for rapid ventricular rates in the event of fast atrial rhythms. Although identification of such an entity usually requires definition of the AV conduction intervals, some authors have suggested that EAVN can be diagnosed, by means of atrial pacing only, when 1:1 conduction with narrow QRS complexes occurs during atrial pacing at rate higher than 200 bpm. The use of incremental transesophageal atrial pacing (TAP) as a noninvasive tool for identification of EAVN was investigated in 19 patients. Fifteen had a history of supraventricular tachyarrhythmias (11 Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome; 2 Lown-Ganong-Levine syndrome; 1 intranodal AV reentry tachycardia; 1 sick sinus syndrome); 4 patients exhibited an electrocardiographic pattern of preexcitation without a history of tachyarrhythmias. Analysis of AV conduction at fast induced rates was hampered in 5 patients because of the easy occurrence of reciprocating tachycardia and/or atrial fibrillation during TAP, as well as because of the persistence of delta wave at cycle lengths (CL) shorter than 300 ms. Among the remaining patients, in 7 (50%, Group A), 1:1 AV conduction was present at pacing CL shorter than 300 ms. In 7 patients (50%, Group B), AV block occurred at pacing CL longer than 300 ms.

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