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Successful External Cardioversion via Fluoroscopic Electrode Positioning in Patients with Enlarged Trans-Thoracic Diameter

Unusual setting of medical care

Koroush Khalighi, Amirsina Talebian, Rubinder Singh Toor, Seyed Abbas Mirabbasi

USA Department of Cardiology, Easton Hospital, Drexel University College of Medicine, Easton, PA, USA

Am J Case Rep 2018; 19:171-175

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.907143

Available online:

Published: 2018-02-15


#907143

BACKGROUND: Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia. It increases the risk of stroke by at least five-fold and is associated with higher risk for mortality and morbidity. Therefore, prompt diagnosis and treatment is crucial. In addition to anti-coagulation therapy, electrical and pharmacological cardioversion to restore sinus rhythm remains the standard of care. The most common and effective method for electrical cardioversion is achieved with placement of electrodes in the anteroposterior position.
CASE REPORT: We present three cases of patients with initial unsuccessful cardioversion attempts for persistent atrial fibrillation. These patients had elevated body mass indices and large trans-thoracic diameters. Their initial external cardioversion via the conventional method was not successful for restoration of sinus rhythm. This failure may have been attributed to their body habitus. To ensure that the current would traverse through the atrial tissue, the electrode pads were applied using fluoroscopic guidance for adequate myocardial depolarization.
CONCLUSIONS: Optimal fluoroscopic placement of the electrode pads during external cardioversion procedure increases the odds of successful restoration of sinus rhythm when compared to the conventional method.

Keywords: antiarrhythmic agents, Anticoagulants, Atrial Fibrillation, Catheter Ablation, Electric Countershock, Fluoroscopy, cardioversion



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