Carotid sinus massage is a widely used method for diagnosis and treatment of supraventricular tachycardia and carotid sinus hypersensitivity. Complications, mostly neurological, can occur but are rare. Carotid stenosis is a risk factor for complications. Hearing a carotid bruit on auscultation indicates stenosis, and is a contraindication for performing carotid sinus massage. However, the sensitivity of auscultation is insufficient. Case description: A 71-year-old man with a history of hypertension and hypercholesterolemia presented to the cardiology accident and emergency department with palpitations. A supraventricular tachycardia was found on examination, for which carotid sinus massage was performed. The patient developed severe aphasia and right-sided hemiparesis caused by an extensive stroke, and died a few days later. Conclusion: The chance of complications following carotid sinus massage is slight; however, this type of complication can have severe consequences. Safer alternative methods may be used for patients with supraventricular tachycardia. In older patients with vascular risk factors, more extensive diagnostic investigations for carotid stenosis should be considered in the diagnostic workup for carotid sinus hypersensitivity.
|Translated title of the contribution||A severe stroke following carotid sinus massage background|
|Journal||Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|