A Hybrid Procedure Combining Mini-Thoracotomy with Interventional Endocardial Lead Implantation for Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy in Patients with Chronic Congestive Heart Failure: A Report of Four Cases
Keywords:epicardial lead; hybrid procedure; mini-thoracotomy; cardiac resynchronization therapy; congestive heart failure; implantation
Background: We describe the application and effectiveness of transthoracic electrode implantation for epicardial left ventricular pacing in cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) for patients with chronic congestive heart failure.
Methods: We assessed four patients with chronic congestive heart failure for whom implantation of endocardial electrodes was contraindicated. The epicardial electrodes were implanted via a mini-thoracotomy in the fourth or fifth left intercostal space. We analyzed the surgical implantation technique and the short-term effectiveness of the procedure.
Results: The epicardial electrodes successfully were implanted in all four patients. The patients’ hemodynamic status, cardiac function, and symptoms significantly improved. Patients I, II, III, and IV were discharged from the hospital on the 8, 11, 4, and 7 days, respectively, after the operation. Follow up lasted for 12 months. None of the patients presented with electrode fractures or surgical wound infections, and the pacing threshold and electrode impedance were normal. In one case, phrenic nerve stimulation occurred due to the low placement position of the electrode. When the electrode was moved slightly inward and upward, the sacral nerve stimulation sign disappeared, and no other complications were noted. One patient developed capsule infection, and the presence of an ectopic pacemaker was noted; therefore, a pacemaker replacement procedure was required.
Conclusion: In CRT, the implantation of a left ventricular epicardial electrode through a left-sided small incision is safe, feasible, and effective. This hybrid surgery combining interventional and cardiac techniques can maximize the curative effect of CRT.
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