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Rev Esp Anestesiol Reanim. 2005 May;52(5):276-89; quiz 289-90, 294.

[Anesthesia and cardiac electrophysiology (Part I)].

[Article in Spanish]

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Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid.


Cardiac arrhythmias are a common complication of surgery and anesthesia. They are more likely to occur in patients with heart disease and the presence of a transitory imbalance can supply the underlying substrate for reentry, triggered activity, or abnormal automaticity. The physiologic impact of a given arrhythmia depends on its duration, on ventricular response, and on the underlying cardiac disease. Optimal management of arrhythmias in the anesthetized patient will depend on knowledge of the trigger mechanisms, the effects of anesthetic drugs on cardiac electrophysiology, and situations that favor arrhythmias. The anesthesiologist must cope with a plethora of problems related to the patient's clinical state and the trauma of surgical manipulation. Experience with electrocardiography and the application of various devices (pacemakers, cardioverters, implantable defibrillators) and knowledge of the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of new intravenous drugs will be essential for patient management. The purpose of the present review is to provide the anesthesiologist with an overview of current views on the diagnosis and management of arrhythmias during anesthesia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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