Transesophageal Cardioversion and Defibrillation

Treatment of atrial flutter and rapid atrial tachycardia with transesophageal atrial pacing.

Kaneda S, Inoue T, Fukuzaki H. Kobe University School of Medicine, Japan. Jpn Heart J 1989 Jul;30(4):471-8. Eight patients with atrial flutter (AF) and rapid atrial tachycardia (AT) (5 common AF, 1 uncommon AF and 2 AT) were treated with transesophageal atrial pacing (TEAP). In 5 patients no antiarrhythmic agent was used during this study, and in 3 patients procainamide was administrated intravenously. Conversion to sinus rhythm was successfully achieved in 7 patients (5 common AF and 2 AT). Two patients were converted to sinus rhythm immediately after pacing, and transient atrial fibrillation was induced before conversion to sinus rhythm in 5 patients. TEAP failed to terminate the arrhythmia in 1 patient with uncommon AF. Administration of procainamide reduced the atrial rate in 2 common AF and 1 AT, which were successfully converted to sinus rhythm by TEAP, but induced a rapid ventricular response in 2 patients, one of whom also developed hypotension before conversion. No significant complication due to TEAP was observed in this study. In conclusion, TEAP is a noninvasive method with fewer complications and has nearly the same high efficacy for converting AF and rapid AT to sinus rhythm as DC cardioversion or transvenous atrial pacing.

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