AIMS: External electrical cardioversion (EC) usually requires brief general anaesthesia involving anaesthetists. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and safety of inducing anaesthesia for EC of atrial fibrillation (AF) exclusively by the cardiologic team with anaesthetists on-hand. METHODS AND RESULTS: A retrospective analysis of 624 elective EC, over a 6-year period, was made. No patients were excluded due to the severity of pathology or comorbidities. The protocol of the intravenous anaesthesia was 5 mg bolus of midazolam and subsequent increasing doses of propofol starting from 20 mg to achieve the desired sedation level. After delivering DC shock, a direct observation period followed in order to assess the post-sedation recovery and to detect the procedure-related complications. Electrical cardioversion was effective in 98.9\% of the cases. General anaesthesia was effective in 100\% of cases with a dosage of propofol, ranging between 20 mg to a maximum of 80 mg, after 5 mg of midazolam was administered. All patients generally showed a fast recovery waking up in a few minutes. The anaesthesiology team was never called for assistance. All the procedures were carried out by the cardiologic team as planned. No thrombo-embolic and allergic complications were observed. Arrhythmic complications were uncommon and essentially bradyarrhythmias. CONCLUSION: A general anaesthesia for outpatient EC of AF can be safely handled by a cardiologist having adequate experience with anaesthetical agents. Moreover, the association of midazolam and a very small dosage of propofol, given their synergic action, is effective and safe in inducing anaesthesia. Arrhythmic complications are rare and limited to bradyarrhythmias.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.