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Safety of nerve conduction studies in patients with peripheral intravenous lines

Authors

  • Michelle L. Mellion MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology, Rhode Island Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, 2 Dudley Street, Suite 555, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, USA
    • Department of Neurology, Rhode Island Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, 2 Dudley Street, Suite 555, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, USA
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  • Alfred E. Buxton MD,

    1. Department of Cardiology, Rhode Island Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, USA
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  • Venkat Iyer MD,

    1. Department of Cardiology, Rhode Island Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, USA
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  • Soufian Almahameed MD,

    1. Department of Cardiology, Rhode Island Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, USA
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  • Peem Lorvidhaya MD,

    1. Department of Cardiology, Rhode Island Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, USA
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  • James M. Gilchrist MD

    1. Department of Neurology, Rhode Island Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, 2 Dudley Street, Suite 555, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, USA
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Abstract

Nerve conduction studies (NCS) may be deferred because of a perceived risk of cardiac arrhythmia in the presence of same-limb peripheral intravenous lines. Patients with implanted pacemakers or defibrillators provide a model in whom this risk can be assessed. Twenty patients, seven with pacemakers and 13 with defibrillators, had peripheral intravenous lines placed during routine care and underwent NCS in the same limb. NCS were performed with the intravenous line clamped and then with saline open to gravity. The implanted cardiac device was interrogated before and after the study. During NCS the surface electrocardiogram and intracardiac electrograms were monitored continuously. Electrical impulses generated during routine NCS were never detected by the sensing amplifiers of the pacemakers/defibrillators and did not affect the programmed settings or interfere with pacing of the device. Routine NCS are safe in patients with same-limb peripheral intravenous lines, even with saline open to gravity. Muscle Nerve 42:189–191, 2010

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