Cardiac responses of vagus nerve stimulation: Intraoperative bradycardia and subsequent chronic stimulation

J.J. Ardesch, H.P.J. Buschman, P.H. van der Burgh, L.J. Wagener-Schimmel, H.E. van der Aa, G. Hageman

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    OBJECTIVES: Few adverse events on heart rate have been reported with vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) for refractory epilepsy. We describe three cases with intraoperative bradycardia during device testing. PATIENTS AND METHODS: At our hospital 111 patients have received a VNS system. Intraoperative device testing is performed under ECG-monitoring. We reviewed the patients and their VNS-therapy follow-up outcome who experienced a change in heart rate, during device testing (Lead Test). RESULTS: Three patients with medically refractory epilepsy showed a bradycardia during intraoperative Lead Test. Postoperative the VNS-therapy started under ECG-monitoring. No change in cardiac rhythm occurred. Subsequent chronic stimulation is uneventful. All three have reduced seizure frequency. Two already have had their second implant, without the occurrence of bradycardia. CONCLUSION: In case of intraoperative bradycardia VNS-therapy onset should be done under ECG-monitoring. Subsequent chronic stimulation is safe in respect to heart rate. Bradycardia during intraoperative device testing is no reason to abort the operation.
    Original languageUndefined
    Article number10.1016/j.clineuro.2007.07.024
    Pages (from-to)849-852
    Number of pages4
    JournalClinical neurology and neurosurgery
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


    • BSS-Electrical Neurostimulation
    • Heart rate
    • Vagus Nerve
    • IR-61944
    • implantable helical lead
    • EWI-11141
    • METIS-247069
    • Electrical stimulation

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