Robotically assisted left ventricular epicardial lead implantation for biventricular pacing

Joseph J. DeRose, Robert C. Ashton, Scott Belsley, Daniel G. Swistel, Margot Vloka, Frederick Ehlert, Roxana Shaw, Jonathan Sackner-Bernstein, Zak Hillel, Jonathan S. Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: Ventricular resynchronization might be achieved in a minimally invasive fashion using a robotically assisted, direct left ventricular (LV) epicardial approach. BACKGROUND: Approximately 10% of patients undergoing biventricular pacemaker insertion have a failure of coronary sinus (CS) cannulation. Rescue therapy for these patients currently is limited to standard open surgical techniques. METHODS: Ten patients with congestive heart failure (New York Heart Association class 3.4 ± 0.5) and a widened QRS complex (184 ± 31 ms) underwent robotic LV lead placement after failed CS cannulation. Mean patient age was 71 ± 12 years, LV ejection fraction (EF) was 12 ± 6%, and LV end-diastolic diameter was 7.1 ± 1.3 cm. Three patients had previous cardiac surgery, and five patients had a prior device implanted. RESULTS: Nineteen epicardial leads were successfully placed on the posterobasal surface of the LV. Intraoperative lead threshold was 1.0 ± 0.5 V at 0.5 ms, R-wave was 18.6 ± 8.6 mV, and impedance was 1,143 ± 261 ohms at 0.5 V. Complications included an intraoperative LV injury and a postoperative pneumonia. Improvements in exercise tolerance (8 of 10 patients), EF (19 ± 13%, p = 0.04), and QRS duration (152 ± 21 ms, p = 0.006) have been noted at three to six months follow-up. Lead thresholds have remained unchanged (2.1 ± 1.4 V at 0.5 ms, p = NS), and a significant drop in impedance (310 ± 59 ohms, p < 0.001) has been measured. CONCLUSIONS: Robotic LV lead placement is an effective and novel technique which can be used for ventricular resynchronization therapy in patients with no other minimally invasive options for biventricular pacing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1414-1419
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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