Transesophageal Electrophysiology

Transesophageal versus intracardiac atrial stimulation in assessing electrophysiologic parameters of the sinus and AV nodes and of the atrial myocardium.

Blomstrom-Lundqvist C, Edvardsson N. Sahlgren's Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 1987 Sep;10(5):1081-95. Electrophysiological parameters of the sinus and AV nodes and of the atrial myocardium were assessed with both transesophageal atrial stimulation (TAS) and intracardiac atrial stimulation (ICS) in the same patient during the same study. The study group was comprised of nine men and seven women, aged 45 to 79 years, referred for the evaluation of syncope of possible arrhythmogenic origin. Twelve patients were included for analysis. Autonomic inhibition (AI) was obtained in five patients. The most striking result was the significantly longer AERP with TAS (mean 286 +/- 9 ms) than with ICS (mean 244 +/- 12 ms; p than 0.02). After AI, the AERP was even more prolonged with TAS (mean 332 +/- 20 ms) than with ICS (mean 237 +/- 8 ms; p less than 0.01). Intraatrial and AV nodal conduction times assessed at multiple paced cycle lengths were significantly shorter with TAS than with ICS. There was no difference between TAS and ICS with regard to AVERP, Wenckebach periodicity and H-V intervals. Although a tendency towards shorter sinus node recovery time (SNRT) and sinoatrial conduction time (SACT) was observed with TAS, the difference was not statistically significant. Possible mechanisms of the differences are discussed. It seemed clear that the site of origin of an atrial impulse can have definite effects upon excitability and conduction properties of atrial and AV nodal fibers. Enhanced sympathetic activity during TAS was also suggested. The electrophysiological properties inherent in the TAS technique warrant further elucidation.

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