Esophageal Electrocardiography

Value of esophageal pacing in evaluation of supraventricular tachycardia.

Brembilla-Perrot B, Spatz F, Khaldi E, Terrier de la Chaise A, Le Van D, Pernot C. Division of Cardiologie A, CHU Brabois, Vandoeuvre-Les-Nancy, France. Am J Cardiol 1990;65(5):322-30. Esophageal stimulation was performed in 40 patients who had spontaneous paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardias (SVTs). The purpose of this study was to look for the most sensitive stimulation protocol and criteria that would help to define the mechanism of reentry. In 20 patients (group I) atrial pacing up to second-degree atrioventricular block was performed under control conditions and isoproterenol, and SVT was induced in 14 patients (70%), 11 in the control state and 3 while receiving isoproterenol. In 20 patients (group II) atrial pacing and programmed atrial stimulation using 1 and 2 extrastimuli delivered at 2 cycle lengths (600 and 500 ms) was performed in the control state and while receiving isoproterenol. SVT was induced in all patients, in 13 patients in the control state and in 7 while receiving isoproterenol. Programmed stimulation always induced SVT and was the only method capable of tachycardia induction in 14 patients. The mechanism of SVT could be established in 91%. The measurement of the ventriculoatrial interval was the most useful sign to define the site of reentry. Occurrence of a bundle branch block helped to delineate the mechanism in 4 patients. When a positive P wave in V1 preceded the esophageal atrial electrocardiogram, it suggested that there was reentry through a left-sided accessory atrioventricular connection in 6 patients. SVT could always be induced by programmed atrial stimulation in the control state and under isoproterenol. The location of the P wave in V1 compared to the ventriculogram and the esophageal electrocardiogram helped to define the mechanism of tachycardia.

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