Failure of coronary sinus lead implantation for resynchronization therapy requires alternative approaches. For such events we have developed a transapical implantation technique as a feasible alternative. We report the outcome of this technique and its evolution from a minithoracotomy to a percutaneous approach. Twenty patients underwent alternative resynchronization therapy with transapical endocardial left ventricular (LV) pacing lead implantation in a multicentre, international study between October 2007 and March 2010. Eighteen patients underwent minithoracotomy and transapical puncture under direct observation. Two recent patients had transthoracic echocardiography-guided percutaneous apical puncture to enter the LV cavity. A 19 or 21 ga needle and two-stage Seldinger dilatation with 4 and 7 Fr sheaths were then used to introduce the lead. In the two patients with closed-chest insertion of the electrode there was no puncture related bleeding or lung damage. Lead dislocation occurred in two minithoracotomy patients. Repositioning was performed without re-opening the pleural cavity. One patient developed right-sided implanted cardiac defibrillator lead endocarditis requiring complete system removal. Twelve patients have >1 year follow-up; all have sustained and significant improvement in LV dimensions (diastolic Δ4.2 ± 2.9, systolic Δ7.2 ± 5.8 mm), ejection fraction (Δ9.5 ± 9.6%), and functional status (Δ1.1 ± 0.3). Transapical placement of LV endocardial pacing lead is an effective alternative strategy for cardiac resynchronization. A closed-chest, percutaneous approach is feasible and should offer even less invasive intervention.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Kassai, I., Friedrich, O., Ratnatunga, C., Betts, T., Mihalcz, A., & Szili-Török, T. (2011). Feasibility of percutaneous implantation of transapical endocardial left ventricular pacing electrode for cardiac resynchronization therapy. Europace, 13(11), 1653–1657. doi:10.1093/europace/eur190