Safety of nerve conduction studies in patients with implanted cardiac devices

Authors

  • Andreas P. Schoeck MD,

    1. Department of Neurology, Rhode Island Hospital, Brown Medical School, 593 Eddy Street, APC 689, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, USA
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  • Michelle L. Mellion MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology, Rhode Island Hospital, Brown Medical School, 593 Eddy Street, APC 689, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, USA
    • Department of Neurology, Rhode Island Hospital, Brown Medical School, 593 Eddy Street, APC 689, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, USA
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  • James M. Gilchrist MD,

    1. Department of Neurology, Rhode Island Hospital, Brown Medical School, 593 Eddy Street, APC 689, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, USA
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  • Fredric V. Christian MD

    1. Department of Cardiology, Rhode Island Hospital, Brown Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
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Abstract

Patients with implanted cardiac devices and their physicians may defer important electrodiagnostic testing because of anxiety about potential negative effects on the device. To determine the safety of routine nerve conduction studies (NCS) in this population, 10 patients with permanent dual-chamber pacemakers of various types and five patients with implanted cardiac defibrillators (ICD) underwent nerve stimulation at sites commonly used during NCS. The implanted cardiac device was interrogated before and after the study and there was continuous monitoring of the surface electrocardiogram (ECG) and atrial and ventricular electrograms. Electrical impulses generated during routine NCS were never detected by the sensing amplifier and did not affect the programmed settings of the implanted cardiac device. We conclude that routine NCS is safe in patients with implanted cardiac pacemakers with bipolar sensing configurations and defibrillators. Muscle Nerve, 2006

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