PMID: 6195612Sep 1, 1983Paper

Increased risk of ventricular fibrillation associated with temporary pacemaker use during coronary arteriography

Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology : PACE
M H LehmannH G Kemp


Each injection of angiographic contrast dye during coronary arteriography represents a "natural experiment" in which the human ventricular fibrillation threshold is transiently reduced. Few factors, however, have been identified which favor the actual occurrence of ventricular fibrillation in this setting. Of 3906 consecutive patients undergoing selective coronary arteriography with sodium meglumine diatrizoate, 66 (1.7 percent) experienced dye-induced ventricular fibrillation, from which all were successfully defibrillated. Analysis of these cases revealed, unexpectedly, that patients in whom temporary right ventricular pacemakers were employed had an incidence of ventricular fibrillation nearly six times that found in the entire group undergoing arteriography (10 percent vs. 1.7 percent, respectively; P less than .001). Those individuals receiving pacemakers were distinguished from other studied patients only by a higher prevalence of conduction abnormalities. Although there is normally a low probability that mechanical stimulation by a pacing catheter can induce ventricular fibrillation, it is postulated that such an occurrence may be more likely after ventricular vulnerability has been increased by contrast dye.


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