Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Clin Invest. 2004 Mar;34(3):218-23.

Bradycardia and sinus arrest during percutaneous ethanol injection therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma.

Author information

1
University of Vienna Medical School, Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) is an established method in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and considered a safe procedure, with severe complications occurring rarely. Cardiac arrhythmias have not been reported to date. Aim of the study was to investigate the occurrence of dysrhythmias during PEI.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Twenty-six consecutive patients with inoperable HCC were included. During ultrasound-guided PEI with 95% ethanol, electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring was performed before starting and continuously during PEI.

RESULTS:

During PEI a significant reduction in mean heart rate (> 20%) was seen in 15 of 26 (58%) patients. In 11 of 26 patients (42%) occurrence of sinuatrial block (SAB) or atrioventricular block (AVB) was observed after a median time of 9 s (range 4-50) from the start of PEI with a median length of 24 s (range 12-480). Clinical symptoms were seen in two patients, including episodes of unconsciousness, seizure-like symptoms in both and a respiratory arrest during PEI in one patient, requiring mechanical ventilation. In four of 12 patients with repeat interventions, dysrhythmias were reproducible during monthly performed procedures. There was a significant association between the occurrence of SAB or AVB and the amount of instilled alcohol (P = 0.03) and post-PEI serum ethanol levels (P = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS:

Bradycardia and block formation occur frequently during PEI. These symptoms could be explained by a vasovagal reaction and/or the direct effect of ethanol on the sinus node or the right atrial conduction system. Ethanol dose is an important factor for the occurrence of SAB/AVB. ECG-monitoring seems mandatory during PEI. Prophylactic use of intravenously administered Atropine might be useful.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center