Continuous rapid atrial pacing to control recurrent or sustained supraventricular tachycardias following open heart surgery.
A technique is described to control recurrent or sustained supraventricular tachycardia associated with rapid ventricular rates following open heart surgery. The technique utilizes a pair of temporarily implanted atrial epicardial wire electrodes to pace the heart. In one group of patients with recurrent atrial flutter and 2:1 A-V conduction, continuous rapid atrial pacing at 450 beats/min produced and sustained atrial fibrillation. The ventricular response rate immediately slowed when compared to that during atrial flutter, and if further slowing was required, it was easily accomplished by the administration of digitalis. Another group of patients with different arrhythmias (recurrent paroxysmal atrial tachycardia, sustained ectopic atrial tachycardia, or sinus rhythm with premature atrial beats which precipitated runs of atrial fibrillation) was treated with continuous rapid atrial pacing to produce 2:1 A-V block. In all instances, the continuous rapid atrial pacing suppressed the supraventricular tachycardia and maintained the ventricular response rate in a therapeutically desirable range. It was demonstrated that the technique is safe, effective, and reliable.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association