Epicardial pacing wires

Amanda Er and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

Epicardial pacing wires or temporary pacing wires (TPW) allow rapid commencement of atrial and/or ventricular pacing in the event of a perioperative cardiac arrhythmia that has the potential to cause significant hemodynamic compromise.

They are usually inserted during open heart surgery, and especially in those with congenital heart disease 1.  Some surgeons will place epicardial pacing wires during CABG but this is not routine practice 2-3.

Removal is usually on the fourth postoperative day via gentle transcutaneous retraction. A coagulation screen should be checked prior to removal and the patient monitored post-procedure to allow early identification of rare, but serious complications such as a myocardial or pericardial injury and further arrhythmia.

Article information

rID: 13552
System: Cardiac
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Temporary pacing wires
  • Epicardial pacing wire
  • Temporary epicardial pacing wire

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1 : post ASD repair
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  • Case 2: retained pacing wire post CABG
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