Entrainment and interruption of atrial flutter with atrial pacing: studies in man following open heart surgery.
To examine the question of why the pacing rate and duration of atrial pacing are crucial factors in the successful interruption of atrial flutter, studies were performed on 30 patients in the period following open heart surgery. In each patient the diagnosis of atrial flutter was made using a pair of wire electrodes placed on the right atrial epicardium at the time of operation and brought out through the anterior chest wall. The same electrodes were used for atrial pacing. Pacing faster than the spontaneous rate of the atrial flutter which failed to interrupt the atrial flutter was associated with transient entrainment of the atrial flutter up to the atrial pacing rate. Atrial flutter was interrupted successfully when the atria were paced at a rate which was too fast for the atrial flutter to follow. This was heralded by the conversion of previously negative flutter waves to positive atrial complexes in ECG lead II. When pacing the atria at a constant rate, 2-22 seconds with a mean of 10 seconds were required to interrupt the atrial flutter.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association