Temporary external DDD pacing after cardiac operations

T. Bruce Ferguson*, James Lewis Cox

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Temporary atrial and ventricular pacing in the DVI, VVI, and AOO modes using atrioventricular sequential DVI devices is routinely used in cardiac operations. This study evaluated a new temporary external DDD pacemaker (Medtronic 5345 External Pulse Generator) capable of ten pacing modes. Thirty-nine devices have been applied to 38 adult patients (27 male, 11 female) after a variety of open heart procedures. Group 1 had atrial pacing wires placed 1.5 to 2.0 cm apart superiorly on the right atrium, group 2 had atrial wires placed 1.0 to 1.5 cm apart on the right atrial free wall, and group 3 had atrial wires placed on the right atrial free wall 0.8 cm apart, using a Silastic ring for fixation. Ventricular wires were placed on the free wall (group 1) or the diaphragmatic surface (groups 2 and 3) of the right ventricle. Postoperative atrial and ventricular sensing and pacing thresholds were obtained on return to the intensive care unit; analysis of variance demonstrated a significantly greater atrial sensing threshold in group 3. Four patients in group 1 permanently lost atrial sensing, 1 patient in group 2 intermittently lost atrial sensing at 24 hours with return at 36 hours postoperatively, and 1 patient in group 1 lost ventricular sensing capability. All other patients had adequate atrial and ventricular sensing capability documented until elective pacemaker removal (mean, 166 hours; range, 17 to 667.5 hours). Nineteen patients required some form of temporary pacing postoperatively; 11 patients demonstrated hemodynamic benefit from a pacing mode that is not available on the currently used DVI devices, and V of these required true DDD pacing capability. Six patients benefited front atrial pacing with adequate atrial sensing and simultaneous ventricular backup. Burst pacing with the device was used successfully to treat postoperative atrial flutter in 2 patients. We conclude that temporary external DDD pacing is feasible and effective in postoperative cardiac surgical patients. Atrial sensing is possible in most patients but electrode positioning is important for adequate thresholds. In some patients, hemodynamic as well as electrophysiologic improvement can be demonstrated with universal DDD pacing capability as compared with standard DVI pacing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-732
Number of pages10
JournalThe Annals of thoracic surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Temporary external DDD pacing after cardiac operations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this