Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) implant procedures are often complex and prolonged, resulting in substantial ionizing radiation (IR) exposure to the patient and operator. We assessed the impact of lower-dose fluoroscopy settings and a sensor-based electromagnetic tracking system (MediGuide™, MDG) on reducing IR exposure during CRT implantation.Methods:
A single-center 2-group cohort study was conducted on 348 consecutive patients, age 66.4 ± 11.0 years, 80.4% male, with CRT implant procedures from 2013 to 2015. Patients were arbitrarily assigned to MDG (N = 239) versus no MDG (N = 109) guidance. Lower-dose fluoroscopy settings were adopted in January 2015 (3 instead of 6 fps; 23 instead of 40 nGy/pulse; N = 101).Results:
Overall, MDG was associated with an 82.1% reduction in IR exposure (393 μGray·m2 vs. 2191 μGray·m2, P < 0.001). Lower-dose fluoroscopy resulted in a 59.5% reduction in IR-exposure without MDG (1055 μGray·m2 vs. 2608 μGray·m2, P < 0.001) and 81.8% reduction with MDG (108 μGray·m2 vs. 595 μGray·m2, P < 0.001). Low-dose fluoroscopy combined with MDG was associated with a 95.9% lower exposure to IR when compared to standard fluoroscopy without MDG (108 μGray·m2 vs. 2608 μGray·m2, P < 0.001). Procedures with MDG were shorter (96 minutes vs. 123 minutes, P < 0.001) and associated with a trend towards a higher success rate (94.6% vs. 89.0%, P = 0.062), with fewer coronary sinus cannulation failures (2.1% vs. 6.4%, P = 0.040).Conclusion:
Low-dose fluoroscopy settings are highly effective (>50%) in reducing IR exposure during CRT implant procedures. When combined with MDG, >95% reduction in IR exposure is achieved. Moreover, MDG shortens procedural duration and may improve acute procedural outcomes.