- Study objective: The study was undertaken to determine the feasibility of obtaining esophageal ECGs using resterilized 3F temporary pacing balloon-inflated electrodes in place of the more expensive pill-electrode and its associated expensive preamplifier. Setting: Tests were conducted in the emergency department and ICU. Type of participants: Subjects were 12 acutely ill patients for whom standard 12-lead surface ECGs were insufficient to afford accurate, immediate arrythmia diagnosis. Interventions: Reasonable quality esophageal ECGs were obtained by use of the electrodes, generally with minimal patient discomfort. The test never required more than ten minutes. Of the 12 patients who participated in this preliminary study, esophageal ECGs enabled definitive diagnoses to be made in ten cases. Conclusion: The use of resterilized temporary pacing balloon-inflated electrodes enables esophageal ECGs to be obtained in an acute care setting.