Transesophageal Electrophysiology

Usefulness of transesophageal electrophysiological study during the ergometric test in the evaluation of supraventricular paroxysmal tachycardia occurring during exertion.

Delise P, D'Este D, Bonso A, Allibardi P, Raviele A, Di Pede F, Piccolo E. Ospedale di Mestre, Venezia. G Ital Cardiol 1989 Dec;19(12):1094-104. Transesophageal electrophysiologic study has recently been proposed for the evaluation of supraventricular arrhythmias. In this report we present 13 cases, with palpitations occurring only during effort, due to a suspected supraventricular tachycardia, in which the usefulness of the transesophageal electrophysiologic study performed during stress test was evaluated. Of these 13 patients, nine were male and four were female, mean age was 29 yrs. Twelve cases had no heart disease, one had a moderate mitral valve insufficiency. Nine cases had a normal ECG, four had a WPW pattern. In 9/13 cases no significant arrhythmia was ever documented, in 1/13 ventricular premature beats were present in the basal ECG, in 1/13 a atrial fibrillation and in 2/13 a supraventricular reciprocating tachycardia was recorded. In all cases a maximal exercise test and a 24-hour Holter monitoring were performed. In all pts a transesophageal electrophysiologic study was performed both at rest and during extra-stimuli and incremental atrial pacing. The end point of transesophageal study was the induction of a sustained (greater than 30") supraventricular tachycardia. RESULTS. Maximal exercise test was negative in 11/13 cases; it showed ventricular premature beats in one case and initiated a supraventricular tachycardia in one. The 24 hour Holter monitoring was negative in 12/13 cases while it showed frequent ventricular premature beats in one. Resting transesophageal electrophysiologic study revealed dual A-V nodal pathways in six pts: in one of them a junctional re-entry was induced; in two a single echo beat was observed, while in three no reentry was observed. In three cases a supraventricular tachycardia was induced which was sustained in one and unsustained (7" and 24") in two cases. In 4 cases transesophageal electrophysiologic study gave no information. Transesophageal stimulation during exercise induced a greater than 30" reciprocating tachycardia in all patients, at work loads of 30-180 watts. Six pts had an intranodal tachycardia (V-A less than 70 msec) a further six pts had a atrioventricular tachycardia involving a Kent bundle (V-A greater than or equal to 70 msec), which was concealed in two, and one had a atrial tachycardia. In four cases (3 with intranodal and 1 with atrioventricular tachycardia), exercise transesophageal study was repeated after chronic therapy with betablockers (sotalol 240 mg/die or metoprolol 200 mg/die). In all cases, after therapy, the induced tachycardia had a longer cycle and in two cases it was induced at a higher work load. In a further two cases flecainide (200 mg/die) was tested. In one case (with atrial tachycardia), the arrhythmia was no longer inducible after therapy, in another case (with intranodal tachycardia) the drug had no effect. CONCLUSIONS. In patients with paroxysmal supraventricular tachyarrhythmias occurring during effort the basal ECG is normal or shows a WPW pattern. The maximal exercise test and 24 hour Holter monitoring give no information in over 90% of cases.

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