Transesophageal Atrial Pacing during Echocardiography Exams

Usefulness of esophageal pill electrode atrial pacing with quantitative two-dimensional echocardiography for diagnosing coronary artery disease.

Matthews RV; Haskell RJ; Ginzton LE; Laks MM. Heart Institute, Los Angeles. Am J Cardiol, 1989, 64(12) p730-5.Noninvasive diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD) is difficult in patients who are unable to exercise. In this study esophageal pill electrode atrial pacing was used as a myocardial stress not requiring exercise, and changes in ejection fraction and pressure volume ratio during pacing with 2-dimensional echocardiography were quantitatively analyzed. All patients had completed a Bruce protocol treadmill exercise test and had undergone coronary arteriography. Of 26 patients, 22 were successfully paced (85%). Comparable rate-pressure products were obtained for treadmill exercise (23,500 +/- 5,900 mm Hg/min) and pacing (24,100 +/- 4,400 mm Hg/min; difference not significant). Of the 22 patients completing the study 8 had normal coronary arteries (group I) and 14 had CAD (group II). The change in ejection fraction with pacing in group I patients was not significant (3 +/- 8%). In group II ejection fraction decreased with pacing (-8 +/- 13%; p = 0.025). The pressure/volume ratio increased in group I with pacing (3.8 +/- 1.8 mm Hg/min/m2; p = 0.05) and was unchanged in group II (0.3 +/- 1.8 mm Hg/min/m2; difference not significant). Using an ejection fraction decrease with pacing or a failure to increase pressure/volume ratio with pacing as criterion for the presence of CAD, similar predictive accuracies were obtained when compared to treadmill exercise testing. Esophageal pill electrode atrial pacing with quantitative 2-dimensional echocardiography may be a useful noninvasive, nonexercise method to detect CAD.

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