• coronary sinus;
  • electrophysiologic study;
  • technique;
  • catheterization

CS Cannulation Using a Long Sheath. Introduction: Catheterization of the coronary sinus (CS) from the femoral vein can be challenging. We tested whether use of a long preshaped sheath facilitates CS cannulation.

Methods and Results: One hundred four patients were randomized into two phases. In phase 1, consecutive patients were allocated to CS catheterization using the long sheath (n = 26) or standard 7-French 15-cm sheath (n = 25). If unsuccessful within 10 minutes, the alternative technique was used. Phase 2 assessed the utility of the long sheath in difficult cases. All patients initially were approached using the standard sheath. If cannulation failed after 10 minutes, patients were randomly allocated to the standard or long sheath approach. In phase 1, the standard approach failed in 4 (16%) of 25 cases. In each case, a long sheath proved successful (mean 3.2 min). The long sheath approach was successful within 10 minutes in all 26 cases. Catheter deployment was significantly quicker with the long sheath, but this was offset by the time required for sheath insertion. In phase 2, the standard approach was successful in 46 (87%) of 53 cases. Of 7 “failures,” 3 were randomized to continue the standard approach, which was successful in 1; 4 were randomized to the long sheath approach, and success was achieved in all (mean 4.4 ± 1.5 min). Overall, the CS could not be promptly catheterized in 15% of cases within 10 minutes using the standard sheath, and no failures were seen using the long sheath. No complications arose from the use of either technique.

Conclusion: The long sheath was uniformly successful in permitting catheterization of the CS from the femoral approach in both unselected and difficult cases.