Transesophageal Cardioversion and Defibrillation

Transesophageal study of recurrent atrial tachycardia after atrial baffle procedures for complete transposition of the great arteries.

Butto F, Dunnigan A, Overholt ED, Benditt DG, Benson DW Jr. Am J Cardiol 1986 Jun 1;57(15):1356-62. Transesophageal study was used for diagnosis and treatment of 51 episodes of tachycardia in 13 patients with complete transposition of the great arteries who had undergone atrial baffle procedure. At the time of atrial baffle procedure, patients were 6 to 36 months old (mean 23). Tachycardia (1 to 17 episodes per patient) first occurred 1 to 23 days (4 patients) or 1.8 to 12 years (9 patients) after atrial baffle. Transesophageal study was performed using a bipolar silicone rubber-coated catheter. Tachycardia conversion was accomplished with stimulation bursts using 4 to 10 stimuli 9.9 ms in duration at 20 to 28 mA and an interstimulus interval of 50 to 100 ms less than the atrial cycle length. All tachycardia episodes had regular atrial cycle lengths ranging from 200 to 350 ms. In 12 patients, second-degree atrioventricular (AV) block was observed during tachycardia, suggesting primary atrial tachycardia. However, in 1 patient, occurrence of AV block always resulted in tachycardia termination, suggesting the presence of AV reentrant tachycardia. Transesophageal stimulation converted 48 of 51 tachycardia episodes to sinus/junctional rhythm. Ten tachycardia episodes in 6 patients were transiently converted to atrial fibrillation lasting 3 seconds to 28 minutes before spontaneous conversion to sinus junctional rhythm. Conversion attempts were unsuccessful on 3 occasions. Acceleration of ventricular rate after stimulation necessitated DC cardioversion on 1 occasion. Conversion was not achieved in 2 tachycardia episodes using stimuli less than 10 mA. Transesophageal study is a safe and effective minimally invasive technique for diagnosis and treatment of tachycardia in infants and children who have had atrial baffle for transposition of the great arteries.

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