Introduction: In cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), positive clinical response and reverse remodeling have been reported using robotically assisted left ventricular (LV) epicardial lead placement. However, the long-term performance of epicardial leads and long-term outcome of patients who undergo CRT via robotic assistance are unknown. In addition, since the LV lead placement is more invasive than a transvenous procedure, it is important to identify patients at higher risk of complications.
Methods: We evaluated 78 consecutive patients (70 ± 11 years, 50 male) who underwent robotic epicardial LV lead placement. The short- (<12 months) and long-term (≥12 months) lead performance was determined through device interrogations. Mortality data were determined by contact with the patient's family and referring physicians and confirmed using the Social Security Death Index.
Results: All patients had successful lead placement and were discharged in stable condition. When compared to the time of implantation, there was a significant increase in pacing threshold (1.0 ± 0.5 vs 2.14 ± 1.2; P < 0.001) and decrease in lead impedance (1010 ± 240 Ω vs 491 ± 209 Ω; P < 0.001) at short-term follow-up. The pacing threshold (2.3 ± 1.2 vs 2.14 ± 1.2; P = 0.30) and lead impedance (451 ± 157 Ω vs 491 ± 209 Ω; P = 0.10) remained stable during long-term follow-up when compared to short-term values. At a follow-up of 44 ± 21 months, there were 20 deaths (26%). These patients were older (77 ± 7 vs 67 ± 11 years; P = 0.001) and had a lower ejection fraction (EF) (13 ± 7% vs 18 ± 9%; P = 0.02) than surviving patients.
Conclusion: Robotically implanted epicardial LV leads for CRT perform well over short- and long-term follow-up. Older patients with a very low EF are at higher risk of death. The risks and benefits of this procedure should be carefully considered in these patients. (PACE 2011; 34:235–240)