Surgical pericardial adhesions do not preclude minimally invasive epicardial pacemaker lead placement in an infant porcine model

Rohan N. Kumthekar, Lok Sinha, Justin D. Opfermann, Paige Mass, Bradley C. Clark, Can Yerebakan, Charles I. Berul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Pericardial adhesions in infants and small children following cardiac surgery can impede access to the epicardium. We previously described minimally invasive epicardial lead placement under direct visualization in an infant porcine model using a single subxiphoid incision. The objective of this study was to assess the acute feasibility of this approach in the presence of postoperative pericardial adhesions. Methods: Adhesion group piglets underwent left thoracotomy with pericardiotomy followed by a recovery period to develop pericardial adhesions. Control group piglets did not undergo surgery. Both groups underwent minimally invasive epicardial lead placement using a 2-channel access port (PeriPath) inserted through a 1 cm subxiphoid incision. Under direct thoracoscopic visualization, pericardial access was obtained with a 7-French sheath, and a pacing lead was affixed against the ventricular epicardium. Sensed R-wave amplitudes, lead impedances and capture thresholds were measured. Results: Eight piglets underwent successful pericardiectomy and developed adhesions after a median recovery time of 45 days. Epicardial lead placement was successful in adhesion (9.5 ± 2.7 kg, n = 8) and control (5.6 ± 1.5 kg, n = 7) piglets. There were no acute complications. There were no significant differences in capture thresholds or sensing between groups. Procedure times in the adhesion group were longer than in controls, and while lead impedances were significantly higher in the adhesion group, all were within normal range. Conclusions: Pericardial adhesions do not preclude minimally invasive placement of epicardial leads in an infant porcine model. This minimally invasive approach could potentially be applied to pediatric patients with prior cardiac surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2975-2981
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • epicardial lead implantation
  • minimally invasive
  • pacemaker
  • pediatric
  • pericardial adhesions
  • porcine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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