Permanent Ventricular Pacemakers
Comparison of Transthoracic and Transvenous Implantation
In the series of 86 patients with the Stokes-Adams syndrome or with symptomatic bradycardia managed with permanently implanted ventricular pacemakers reported on, 35 patients had primary implantation of epicardial leads at thoracotomy and 51 had transvenous endocardial electrodes passed via the jugular venous system for permanent ventricular pacing. The transvenous method of permanent pacemaker implantation appears to be easier to apply with less serious complications and provides the same overall mortality as the transthoracic approach. However, pacemaker failure, both permanent and temporary, is more likely to occur with the transvenous approach.
A series of unique complications and findings noted in the transvenous group were thought to be related to the permanent pacing electrode catheter. These included myothought cardial perforation, pericardial friction rubs, intermittent ventricular pacing, and diaphragmatic stimulation.
The experience suggests that it is reasonable to employ a transvenous pacemaker initially, recognizing that replacement with a transthoracic pacemaker will be necessary in approximately 16% of the patients and remanipulation of the electrode catheter will be needed in another 13%. Therefore, to undertake transvenous permanent implantation of a pacemaker, one must also be prepared to employ the transthoracic approach in a small but significant number of patients.
- Complete heart block
- Renal failure
- Transvenous pacemaker
- Stokes-Adams syndrome
- Congestive heart failure
- Complications: Pacemakers
- Diaphragmatic pacing
- © 1967 American Heart Association, Inc.