Potential danger of ocular compression in paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia in patients with latent preexcitation

Cardiology Department, University Hospital Hedi Chaker, Sfax, Tunisia.
Journal of electrocardiology (Impact Factor: 1.36). 09/2009; 42(6):645-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2009.07.001
Source: PubMed


The vagal maneuver is the first line of therapeutic available for patients with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia. It increases vagal tone and includes the traditional ocular compression, carotid sinus massage, and Valsalva maneuver. A 40-year-old man was admitted because of 180 beats/min regular narrow QRS-complex tachycardia. The physician in the emergency department had performed an ocular compression, and at its ending, the tachycardia degenerated into unstable hemodynamically high ventricular rate atrial fibrillation. It was reverted to sinus rhythm by electrical shock. The electrophysiologic study documented a latent posterolateral bypass tract, with an anterograde refractory period of 210 milliseconds, which was successfully ablated.

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    ABSTRACT: Although carotid sinus massage (CSM) belongs to the basic knowledge of every physician, there are no universally valid and structured guidance on the nature of the implementation and application. We analyzed the existing guidelines and literature in light of who is allowed to perform CSM. In summary, there are two indications for CSM: As part of diagnostic tools to clarify underlying pathology of syncope CSM should be performed only by an experienced physician with ECG control and after sonographic exclusion of carotid atherosclerosis if no other explanations are reasonable. In case of supraventricular tachycardia CSM may be used by any physician without prior sonography of the carotids to terminate the tachycardia before any pharmacological strategies are performed.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · DMW - Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift