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September 27, 1965

Catheter Pacing in Complete Heart Block: Techniques and Complications

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York.

JAMA. 1965;193(13):1091-1096. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090130019004

The bipolar catheter pacemaker was used as a temporary measure in 58 patients with complete heart block. The external jugular veins were the preferred sites of passage, and a fluoroscopic image intensifier was almost a necessity. Complications were frequent including two deaths during catheterization and two later deaths. Failure to pace was usually caused by malposition or breakage of the catheter, poor electrical connections, or run-down batteries. Investigation of such failure should include a survey of the pacemaker artifact in the standard electrocardiogram and the recording of endocardial leads from the catheter, in addition to x-ray studies.