Selective Use of Temporary Epicardial Pacing Leads in Early Infancy Following Cardiac Surgery: Feasibility and Determinants of Clinical Application

Anastasios C. Polimenakos, Lauren Mathis, Brent Shafer, M. Vinayak Kamath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Use of temporary epicardial pacing (TEP) leads remains a routine perioperative strategy in congenital heart surgery. Selective use of TEP in neonates and infants undergoing cardiac intervention within the first 6 months of life has, yet, to be assessed. Outcome analysis was undertaken. From August 2014 to December 2016, 112 consecutive neonates and infants underwent cardiac intervention within the first 6 months of life. Patients with STS/EACTS Congenital Heart Surgery Mortality (STAT categories) 1–5 were prospectively followed from the index cardiac operation until hospital discharge and included in the study. Patients on permanent pacemaker (PPM) prior to the definitive cardiac intervention were excluded. Selective TEP placement was pursued if specific intraoperative indications were met. Determinants associated with the postoperative use of TEP were assessed. TEP leads were placed in 11 (9.8%) (GroupA). Nine was used for diagnostic and/or therapeutic purposes; two had no use (18%). From 101 patients without TEP (GroupB), one required treatment for postoperative dysrhythmia amenable to pacing. Vasoactive-inotrope score, ICU length of stay and time-to-negative balance was not statistically different between groups (p > 0.05). None of 112 patients required PPM insertion during hospital stay. Intraoperative need for cardioversion, attenuated ventricular function, and sustained sinus/AV node dysfunction or non-resolved elevated serum lactate at the time of operating room discharge were found to be predictors for TEP postoperative use. Selective placement of TEP leads is justified during early infancy for congenital heart surgery. Nearly 20% of those with TEP leads in place, even after its selective use, will not be required following surgery. Specific intraoperative parameters can guide the necessity and potential TEP postoperative use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)630-637
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2019



  • Congenital heart surgery
  • Epicardial pacing leads
  • Outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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