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Heart Rhythm. 2005 Jul;2(7):714-9.

Simplified cardiac resynchronization implantation technique involving right access and a triple-guide/single introducer approach.

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Division of Cardiology, University Jean Monnet of Saint-Etienne, 42055 Saint-Etienne, France.



Biventricular pacing is useful for patients with congestive heart failure but has the disadvantage of being a long, user-dependent, highly technical procedure.


The purpose of this study was to simplify the procedure. The simplified technique consists of sinus (CS) venography prior to implantation, direct coronary access for the left ventricular (LV) lead without use of a left-heart delivery system, and triple-guide/one introducer cephalic vein access as the first approach in patients presenting in sinus rhythm.


A cephalic cutdown was performed, and a steerable hydrophilic guidewire was introduced in the cephalic vein. A 9Fr introducer was advanced over the guidewire, and two other guides were inserted through the introducer. This technique allowed for insertion of a right ventricular lead, an LV lead, and an atrial lead.


One hundred three patients were evaluated from January 2002 to September 2004. Four implants failed (3.9%). The 7Fr LV lead was successfully placed in 99 of 103 patients (96.1%) directly via the 9Fr introducer, without use of a dedicated left-heart delivery system. The final position was lateral in 59 patients, posterolateral in 33, posterior in 4, and anterolateral in 3. Sixty patients were in sinus rhythm, 13 were in atrial fibrillation, and 26 had a previous pacemaker (n = 21) or defibrillator (n = 5). Triple cephalic vein access was possible in 48 of the patients in sinus rhythm (80%). Procedure parameters were as follows: LV threshold 0.9 +/- 0.7 V, LV wave amplitude 15 +/- 8 mV, LV impedance 790 +/- 232 Omega, skin-to-skin procedure time 76 +/- 33 minutes, and fluoroscopy time 23 +/- 19 minutes. Ten complications (10.1%) occurred: 7 lead dislodgments (3 within 48 hours and 4 within 6 months) requiring repositioning (7.1%), 1 subacute local infection requiring explantation (1%), 1 phrenic nerve stimulation (1%), and 1 pneumothorax (1%). The long-term success of biventricular pacing was 93.1%.


This study demonstrates that cardiac resynchronization therapy implantation can be simplified with the combined use of a steerable hydrophilic guidewire, three guides, and one introducer via a right cephalic vein, without use of a left-heart delivery system. The triple cephalic vein approach yields an 80% implant success rate for patients in sinus rhythm. The long-term success of biventricular pacing was 93.1%.

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