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Temporary pacing 

Temporary pacing
Temporary pacing

Bulent Gorenek



This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. Changed minor spellings, added 1 reference, and updated 1 reference.

Updated on 22 February 2018. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 09 July 2020

Temporary cardiac pacing by electrical stimulation of the heart is indicated as a short-term treatment of life-threatening bradyarrhythmias or tachyarrhythmias. It can be used temporarily until the arrhythmias resolve or as a bridge to permanent pacing. Symptomatic bradycardias needing temporary pacing may occur in acute myocardial infarction, during percutaneous coronary intervention, and in patients with sinus node dysfunction. Temporary pacing can also be useful for terminating or suppressing some types of supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias. Single-chamber, dual-chamber, or biventricular pacing modes can be used. In haemodynamically compromised patients, dual-chamber pacing is preferred. Ideally, this procedure is performed under fluoroscopy, but electrode catheters can also be inserted without fluoroscopy, with ECG and/or pressure monitoring. Several methods of temporary pacing are available: transvenous, external, and transoesophageal pacing. Transvenous pacing is the most commonly used technique. Although this method is safe and easy, some complications related to venous access or caused by the inserted electrode catheters or by an electrical dysfunction of the pacing device may occur, either during or after the implantation.

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