Percutaneous trans‐hepatic route for dual chamber pacemaker implantation in a patient with post‐Glenn operation
An angiography of peripheral hepatic vein was performed via the inferior vena cava and a guide wire was placed in the target vein chosen as leads access. The peripheral hepatic vein was punctured and 2 guide wires were advanced into the right atrium (Fig. 1). An 8F peel‐away sheath was advanced into hepatic vein. A ventricular lead was advanced through the sheath into the functional right ventricle and inserted in the apex. Through the second wire, another sheath was introduced and the atrial lead was inserted in the right atrium. Both leads were curved in the right atrium to avoid tautness. The generator was buried in a created pocket in the abdominal wall anterior to the rectus abdominis behind the rectus sheath (Fig. 2A). After the procedure, ultrasound examination excluded local liver injury, hematoma and hepatic vein thrombosis. The ECG showed a pacing rhythm in DDD mode (Fig. 2C). At the 2‐month follow‐up, radiograph showed the ventricular lead still had the same shape and position to that just after the procedure and the atrial lead shape changed a little but without dislocation (Fig. 2B). No discomfort and no dysfunction of liver were observed during our 1‐year follow‐up. Pacemaker programming showed normal sensitivity and capture threshold.
After some congenital heart disease surgeries, subclavian vein route is not available for pacemaker leads. Epicardium pacing is usually chosen for these patients. However, some patients cannot endure an operation for suturing leads to the epicardium. In addition, the sensing and pacing problems could vary a lot. The trans‐hepatic route is the most similar access to usual pacemaker implantation with the same pacing position. One potential problem could be dislocation of leads due to the effect of gravity. Two methods could be employed to reduce the risk of lead dislocation. The first is having leads curved in atrium, while the other is the usage of active lead. During follow‐ups, the dislocation of leads and dysfunction of pacemaker in our patient were not found. The puncture of peripheral hepatic vein is the main technique that may limit the use of trans‐hepatic route. However, it is a simple and safe procedure under the guidance of angiography of peripheral hepatic vein through femoral vein.