The safety and efficacy of transcutaneous temporary pacing were assessed in 21 patients undergoing elective surgical procedures under general anesthesia. Complete capture was achieved in all patients. The pacing threshold was 50 mamp in two patients, 100 mamp in nine, and 200 mamp in ten. The threshold was influenced by electrode position and also, possibly, by age, heart size, and chest size. No adverse effects of pacing were encountered. Transcutaneous pacing is a rapid, safe, and effective means of temporary pacing in the operating room.