Cardiac arrhythmias associated with prophylactic pacing during coronary angiography

Andres R. Palomo, Alan M. Schwartz, Richard G. Trohman, Robert A. Chahine, Robert J. Myerburg, Kenneth M. Kessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Data from 518 consecutive cardiac catheterizations were analyzed to test the value of prophylactic pacemaker insertion during coronary angiography and to compare the incidence of arrhythmic complications in patients with and without pacemakers. In patients without pacing (n = 273), 1 episode of ventricular fibrillation occurred, which responded promptly to defibrillation. Sinus bradycardia (fewer than 30 beats/min for 10 seconds) was recorded in 74 patients (27%) and required treatment in 30 (11%). No patient required or would have benefited from pacemaker placement. Of the 245 patients with prophylactic pacemakers, there was an increased incidence of all ventricular (9 vs 1; p < 0.013) and supraventricular (5 vs 0; p < 0.046) arrhythmias. Pacemaker-associated induction of ventricular fibrillation occurred in 2 patients and was clearly related to electrical stimulation during a normally nonvulnerable period of the cardiac cycle. In conclusion, routine prophylactic pacemaker insertion during coronary angiography is not warranted in patients with normal sinus rhythm and normal atrioventricular conduction. More information is needed to determine if pacing is needed in patients with conduction system disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-103
Number of pages4
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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