The nasocardiac reflex during nasoendoscopy: A commonly overlooked risk

Wong, Arthur and Abu Bakar, Mohd Zulkiflee (2021) The nasocardiac reflex during nasoendoscopy: A commonly overlooked risk. American Journal of Otolaryngology, 42 (2). ISSN 0196-0709, DOI

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Purpose: The nasocardiac reflex is known but not well researched. We aimed to ascertain the electrocardiographic features of the reflex and to chronologically map the heart rhythm dynamics during nasoendoscopy. We also intended to identify variables that could potentially affect the occurrence of this reflex. Material and methods: A prospective, quasi-experimental physiological study. Selected healthy subjects were observed electrocardiographically for 60 s continuously in three equal phases of 20 s each - baseline phase, nasoendoscopic phase, and recovery phase (post-nasoendoscopy). Heart rate fluctuations were charted, followed by identification of a positive nasocardiac reflex group of subjects and a negative group. Analyses against multiple variables were done. Results: A total of 53 subjects were analysed. Heart rate during the baseline phase was 81.0 +/- 9.9, nasoendoscopic phase was 72.7 +/- 10.1, and recovery phase was 75.2 +/- 9.6. Sixteen subjects (30.2%) had a positive nasocardiac reflex, and they remained in sinus rhythm with no occurrences of skipped beats, atrioventricular blocks or asystoles. One subject (1.9%) developed temporary ectopic premature ventricular contractions after nasoendoscopy. No variables were found affecting the incidence of a nasocardiac reflex in our study. Conclusions: The pattern of heart rate dynamics was consistent as heart rates drop rapidly upon endoscope insertion and recover in some measure after its withdrawal. Although all our subjects remained asymptomatic, clinicians should not overlook the risks of a severe nasocardiac reflex when performing nasoendoscopy. We recommend that electrical cardiac monitoring be part of the management of vasovagal responses during in-office endonasal procedures.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nasocardiac reflex; Trigeminocardiac reflex; Endoscopy; Bradycardia; Vasovagal syncope
Subjects: R Medicine > RF Otorhinolaryngology
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine > Otorhinolaryngology Department
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2022 05:25
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2022 05:25

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