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Keywords:

  • transcutaneous cardiac pacing;
  • noninvasive pacing;
  • external pacing;
  • tachyarrhythmias electrical treatment

ALTAMURA, G., ET AL.: Transcutaneous Cardiac Pacing for Termination of Tachyarrhythmias. Transcutaneous cardiac pacing (TCP) was used for interruption of tachyarrhythmias in 31 patients: 20 with ventricular tachycardia (VT); eight with atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia (AVRT) and three had atrioventricular nodal tachycardia (AVNT). The stimulators used (Pace Aid 50/52) allow pacing at programmable rates (50–160 ppm) and output (10–200 mA at 20-msec pulse duration), when possible overdrive pacing was used. Short bursts of stimuli were delivered with increasing current intensity until interruption of the arrhythmia or to the maximum energy tolerated by the patient. VTs were interrupted in eight of the 20 patients: four of the six (67%) treated by overdrive pacing and four of the 14 (29%) were treated by underdrive pacing. Supraventricular tachycardias (SVT) were terminated in eight of the 11 patients: seven out of eight (88%) AVT, and one out of three AVNT (33%). We observed two cases of arrhythmia worsening: a VT acceleration and induction of ventricular fibrillation in a patient with AVNT. TCP was well tolerated by the majority of the patients. We conclude that TCP is an effective method for interruption of ventricular and supraventricular reentrant tachycardias, but the risk of arrhythmia worsening must be considered.