Reliability of Transesophageal Pacing in the Assessment of Sinus Node Function in Patients with Sick Sinus Syndrome

Authors


Address for reprints: Dr Paolo Alboni, Division of Cardiology, Arcispedale S. Anna, 44100 Ferrara, Italy

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to find out whether fransesophageal pacing could be utilized for assessment of sinus node function in patients with sick sinus syndrome (SSS). In 17 patients with SSS (study group) we compared the results of sinus node tests obtained both in the basal state and after pharmacological autonomic blockade by endocavitary stimulation and, 24 hours later, by transesophageal pacing. In another group of 17 patients with SSS (control group), we compared the results obtained by two endocavitary studies. In “study group”, sinus cycle length (SCL) and corrected sinus node recovery time (CSRT) did not show significant differences between the two studies both in the basal state and after autonomic blockade, whereas sinoatrial conduction time (SACT) was more prolonged during esophageal pacing (P < 0.01). In “control group”, sinus node measures did not show significant differences between the two studies. In the “study group,” the following coefficients of correlation were obtained in the basal state: SCL, r = 0.65, CSRT, r - 0.57, SACT, r = 0.52 and after autonomic blockade: SCL, r = 0.95, CSRT, r = 0.62 and SACT, r = 0.53. In the basal state, the correlation for SCL and CSRT between the two studies was lower in the “study group” than in the “control group” (P < 0.05), whereas after autonomic blockade the correlation for sinus node measures did not show significant differences between the two groups of patients. These data suggest that transesophageal study influences the autonomic tone regulating the sinus node; however, it is not responsible for important variations in sinus node measures. Thus, this noninvasive method appears useful for assessment of sinus node function in patients with SSS, considering, however, that SACT is more prolonged during pacing fram the esophagus.

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