Alternative to left ventricular lead implantation through the coronary sinus: 1-year experience with a minimally invasive and robotically guided approach
Aims Left ventricular (LV) lead implantation through the coronary sinus (CS) can be limited and sometimes not possible—alternative approaches are needed. Minimally invasive, robotically guided LV lead implantation has major advantages, but there are little published data about the short- and long-term follow-ups, in terms of feasibility, safety, electrical performance, and impact on clinical outcome. Methods and results A total of 21 heart failure patients underwent robotically guided LV lead implantation using the Da Vinci Robotic System. Indications were failed implant with conventional approach through the CS ( n = 16) and non-response to conventional cardiac resynchronization therapy ( n = 5). During the procedure, the entire LV free wall was exposed through 3 transthoracic ports (10 mm diameter each) allowing ample choice of stimulation site and the ability to implant 2 LV leads via a Y connector. Patients were prospectively followed up for 1 year. The two LV leads were successfully implanted in all patients. No peri-procedural complications were observed. After a mean stay in the intensive care unit of 1.2 ± 4 days, the 21 patients were hospitalized in the EP department for 6.7 ± 2.9 days. Acute LV thresholds were excellent (1.0 V ± 0.6/0.4 ms) and stayed stable at 1-year follow-up (1.5 V ± 0.6/0.4 ms, P = 0.21). Four patients demonstrated an increased threshold (>2 V/0.4 ms). There was no phrenic nerve stimulation. After 12 months, in the failed implant group, 69% of the patients were echocardiographic and clinical responders. Conclusion The robotic approach was feasible, safe, and minimally invasive. Accordingly, robotically guided LV lead implantation seems to offer a new alternative when conventional approaches are not suitable.
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