Andrew Weintraub, M.D., FACC, associate director, of the Interventional Cardiology and Vascular Center, medical director of the Vascular and Structural Heart Center, Tufts Medical Center, discusses the use of temporary pacing in transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) patients. Implantation of TAVR valves can cause pressure from the valve against the septal wall of the heart, causing conduction delays. These delays do not necessarily mean the patient needs a permanent pacemaker.
Instead, Tufts Medical Center uses temporary pacing leads, a small catheter with two electrodes, placed in the right ventricle of the heart through a vein in the groin or neck. The lead is then connected to an external pacemaker allowing a physician to monitor and control a patient’s heart rate for up to several days. The center uses the BioTrace Medical Tempo Lead, which incorporates a novel active fixation mechanism, bipolar electrodes and a soft tip. Stabilizers provide secure fixation and maintain stable pace capture. An elastomeric balloon may be inflated to aid passage of the lead through the venous vasculature and into the right ventricle, and aids in wall apposition during deployment of the stabilizers. This design helps secure and stabilize the cardiac pacing lead with the goal of reducing complications and allowing patients to ambulate sooner after procedures.
Watch the related VIDEO: The Expansion of TAVR Following the FDA Clearing its Use in All Patients — Interview with Torsten Vahl, M.D.