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J Interv Card Electrophysiol. 2003 Oct;9(2):167-81.

Advances in devices for cardiac resynchronization in heart failure.

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Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, 102 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, ROC.


Patients with advanced heart failure have a high mortality and morbidity despite medical therapy. Depending on the underlying heart disease and severity of heart failure, 3.7 to 52.8% of patients have a QRS complex > or =120 ms who may have interventricular and intraventricular dyssynchrony correctible by cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). The latter is usually achieved with biventricular pacing, with the left ventricular lead placed in a tributary of the coronary sinus (CS), with a reported success rate between 88-92%. The technical advances for implantation include preformed guide sheaths to cannulate the CS, over the wire leads with passive fixation mechanism, and surgical placement methods. Device-specific CRT features include optimizing heart failure through insurance of a high percentage of pacing, heart failure monitoring, atrioventricular and interventricular timing, and avoiding double ventricular sensing. Furthermore, arrhythmic co-morbidities of heart failure such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachyarrhythmias can also be managed. Recent prospective trials suggest that there is a 30% reduction in heart failure hospitalization with CRT, and preliminary results suggest a survival benefit with CRT and implantable cardioverter defibrillator over optimal medical therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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