Temporary transvenous cardiac pacing: a survey on current practice

J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown). 2020 Jun;21(6):420-427. doi: 10.2459/JCM.0000000000000959.


Background: Temporary transvenous cardiac pacing (TTCP) is a standard procedure in current practice, despite limited coverage in consensus guidelines. However, many authors reported several complications associated with TTCP, especially development of infections of cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIED). The aim of this survey was to provide a country-wide picture of current practice regarding TTCP.

Methods: Data were collected using an online survey that was administered to members of the Italian Association of Arrhythmology and Cardiac Pacing.

Results: We collected data from 102 physicians, working in 81 Italian hospitals from 17/21 regions. Our data evidenced that different strategies are adopted in case of acute bradycardia with a tendency to limit TTCP mainly to advanced atrioventricular block. However, some centers reported a greater use in elective procedures. TTCP is usually performed by electrophysiologists or interventional cardiologists and, differently from previous reports, mainly by a femoral approach and with nonfloating catheters. We found high inhomogeneity regarding prevention of infections and thromboembolic complications and in post-TTCP management, associated with different TTCP volumes and a strategy for management of acute bradyarrhythmias.

Conclusion: This survey evidenced a high inhomogeneity in the approaches adopted by Italian cardiologists for TTCP. Further studies are needed to explore if these divergences are associated with different long-term outcomes, especially incidence of CIED-related infections.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Bradycardia / diagnosis
  • Bradycardia / physiopathology
  • Bradycardia / therapy*
  • Cardiac Electrophysiology / trends*
  • Cardiac Pacing, Artificial / trends*
  • Cardiologists / trends*
  • Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac / trends*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Healthcare Disparities / trends
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Pacemaker, Artificial / trends*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / trends*