Cited 9 times since 2014 (1.5 per year) source: Scopus Heart rhythm, Volume 12, Issue 3, 07 November 2014, Pages 533-539 Epicardial leads in adult cardiac resynchronization therapy recipients: a study on lead performance, durability, and safety. Buiten MS, van der Heijden AC, Klautz RJM, Schalij MJ, van Erven L

Transvenous left ventricular (LV) lead placement for cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator (CRT-D) delivery is unsuccessful in 8% to 10% of cases. These patients might benefit from an epicardial lead. However, data on long-term epicardial lead performance are scarce. Furthermore, extracting an epicardial lead requires a rethoracotomy.The purpose of this study was to determine data on almost a decade of experience with epicardial leads and investigate the safety of partially leaving this lead in place after device infection.All adult patients receiving an epicardial lead (Medtronic CapSure Epi, model 4968) for CRT-D in the Leiden University Medical Center were included. Leads were implanted during a standalone procedure or in combination with other cardiothoracic procedures. Electrical lead parameters were assessed at implantation and every 6 months thereafter. In case of device infection the epicardial lead was cut off parasternal, just outside the thoracic cavity, leaving the distal part of the lead in place.Two-hundred sixteen patients were included with a median follow-up of 3 years (25th-75th percentile 1.0-5.5). LV pacing threshold decreased within 6 months after implantation [1.1 V (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.9-1.2) vs 0.8 V (95% CI 0.7-0.9), P = .01] and stabilized thereafter. Mean LV electrogram was 15.2 ± 7.5 mV, and average lead impedance was 633.5 ± 174.0 Ω. Five-year cumulative incidence was 1.6% for lead failure and 9.6% for device infection. The retained epicardial lead caused skin erosion in 3 patients and fistula formation in 1.This study demonstrates that epicardial LV leads have an excellent long-term performance. Partially retaining the lead after device infection was associated with a risk of reinfection with limited long-term clinical implications for the patient.

Keywords: Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy, Left Ventricular Lead, Epicardial Lead, Lead Performance, Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy–defibrillator

Heart Rhythm. 2014 Nov;12(3):533-539