Reevaluation of temporary transvenous cardiac pacemaker usage during carotid angioplasty and stenting: A safe and valuable adjunct

Ruth L. Bush, Peter H. Lin, Charles C. Bianco, Julian E. Hurt, Thomas I. Lawhorn, Alan B. Lumsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Although many current series document the safety of carotid angioplasty and stenting procedures (CAS), several acknowledge clinically significant hemodynamic disturbances in 25-71% of patients. We report herein the safety and efficacy of prophylactic percutaneous temporary transvenous cardiac pacemaker insertion during CAS for the prevention of hemodynamic changes. At a community-based institution, 48 patients undergoing 51 attempted CAS procedures from March 1999 to August 2002 for carotid artery occlusive disease were retrospectively reviewed. Thirty-one percent of patients had procedures performed for either recurrent disease or a history of neck radiation; 62.5% had significant coronary disease. Temporary transvenous pacemakers were inserted as an adjunctive procedure in the authors' CAS protocol. The pacers were set to capture a heart rate decrease below 60 beats per minute. Demographics, cardiac risk, and outcomes were analyzed. CAS was successfully performed in 96% (49 lesions). In the intent-to-treat group, the patients had a mean age of 71 ±9 years and angiographic stenoses of 88 ±8%, with 29% having symptomatic lesions. Significant bradycardia or asystole to trigger ventricular pacing occurred in 11 (22%) procedures, thus, triggering ventricular pacing. Pharmacologic support for concomitant hypotension was temporarily necessary in only 4 (8%) cases. No patient required prolonged pacing or medication therapy following CAS. Neither presence of carotid-related symptoms nor disease etiology was related to need for intraprocedural pacing. Furthermore, there was no occurrence of pacemaker failure or other complication secondary to venous catheterization. Hemodynamic changes may occur during mechanical dilation of the carotid artery and bulb, with reports in the literature of the need for prolonged pharmacologic support. In selected patients, the prophylactic placement of a transvenous pacemaker is a safe, feasible, and expeditious method to treat periprocedural hemodynamic changes with a decrease in additional pharmacologic support during CAS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-235
Number of pages7
JournalVascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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