Vagal stimulation by manual carotid sinus massage to acutely suppress seizures

J Clin Neurosci. 2014 Jan;21(1):179-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2013.03.017. Epub 2013 Aug 17.


Carotid sinus massage, a technique involving digital pressure on the richly innervated carotid sinus, is a time-honoured method for termination of supraventricular tachycardia due to paroxysmal atrial tachycardia. Vagal nerve stimulation, a more recent technique, employs pacemaker stimulation of the vagus as a treatment for refractory epilepsy. This case report discusses the use of carotid sinus massage to abort seizure activity. The patient used manual manipulation of the carotid sinus (similar to cardiology techniques) to suppress seizures, achieving a therapeutic neurological outcome.

Keywords: Carotid body; Epilepsy; Seizure; Vagal stimulation; Vagus nerve.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Diseases / complications
  • Brain Diseases / pathology
  • Carotid Sinus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massage / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Sclerosis / complications
  • Seizures / prevention & control*
  • Vagus Nerve / physiology*