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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2010 Aug 31;56(10):747-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2010.04.038.

Left ventricular endocardial stimulation for severe heart failure.

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Bordeaux University 2 and University Medical Center of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.


Biventricular resynchronization, a therapy recommended for patients presenting with left ventricular (LV) dysfunction and ventricular dyssynchrony, requires the implantation of an LV lead, usually placed in a lateral or posterolateral tributary of the coronary sinus. Despite important progress made in the development of dedicated instrumentation, the procedure remains sometimes challenging and unsuccessful in a minority of patients. In the rare instances of unsuccessful transvenous implantations occurring in the presence of major surgical contraindications, a few operators have implanted the LV lead transseptally, an approach limited by technical difficulties and by the thromboembolic risk associated with the presence of a lead inside the LV cavity. The interest in this approach was recently renewed by 2 studies in an animal model and in humans, respectively, which both found a distinctly superior hemodynamic performance associated with endocardial compared with epicardial stimulation. This review discusses the advantages and disadvantages of LV endocardial stimulation, examines the various techniques of LV endocardial stimulation, and projects their future applications in light of these highly promising recent results. The implementation of endocardial stimulation will ultimately depend on: 1) the development of safe, effective, and durable instrumentation, and reliable and reproducible intraprocedural methods to identify the optimal site of stimulation; and 2) the completion of controlled trials confirming the superiority of this technique compared with standard cardiac resynchronization therapy.

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