Transesophageal Pacing for Temporary Heart Rate Acceleration and Management of Hemodynamics

Transesophageal programmed atrial pacing as a method of selecting patients with sick sinus syndrome for permanent atrial pacing.

Swiatecka G, Lubinski A, Raczak G, Stanke A, Juzwa A, Kubica J. Medical Academy of Gdansk, Poland. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 1988 Nov;11(11 Pt 2):1655-61. Many recent studies have shown transesophageal programmed atrial pacing (TP) as a very practical, safe and convenient way for assessment of sinus node function and AV conduction. On the other hand, permanent atrial pacing is known to be superior to ventricular pacing due to arrhythmogenic and hemodynamic reasons. This is the reason why we decided to use TP as a method of choosing patients with sick sinus syndrome (SSS) for permanent atrial pacing. Sixty-three patients with symptomatic (58) and asymptomatic (5) SSS in a variety of clinical situations were examined in this way. The following electrophysiological features were examined: sinus cycle length, sinus node recovery time as well as corrected time, secondary pause after overdrive stimulation, sinoatrial conduction time, Wenckebach point, induction of supraventricular arrhythmias by S1, S2, S3 programmed stimulation and burst pacing. Patients with abnormal parameters were examined once more after intravenous atropine 0.2 mg/kg to evaluate parasympathetic component. Standard 12-lead ECG was performed in all, and Holter monitoring in most of patients. Twenty-six patients were candidates for permanent AAI pacing. Failures occurred in eight patients usually due to low P wave amplitude and electrode instability. Eighteen patients received AAI pacing systems: eight with brady-tachycardia syndrome, nine with bradyarrhythmia and one with sinoatrial block. In the follow-up of 5-28 months in one patient occurred high degree AV block (II degree) during digitalis therapy. Reduction of doses made this block disappear. Examination of Wenckebach point and possibility of inducation of supraventricular tachyarrhythmias in cases of atrial overexcitability are particularly useful in selecting patients for AAI pacing.

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