Background Epicardial ablation is often necessary for the treatment of complex arrhythmias refractory to endocardial ablation. Conventional needle access to the pericardial space is considered quite challenging, and it is often associated with several potential complications, particularly inadvertent right ventricular puncture. The novel EpiAccess needle tip is embedded with a pressure sensor able to report the pressure waveform in real time when used with the EpiAccess System. Objective We prospectively evaluated the feasibility and safety of the EpiAccess System by EpiEP, Inc., with a novel epicardial access needle in a multicenter study. Methods Twenty-five patients with a clinical need for epicardial access were enrolled. The EpiAccess needle and EpiAccess System were used for epicardial access in each case. Successful epicardial access, defined as the ability to introduce a guidewire into the epicardial space, was assessed via the device and confirmed with fluoroscopy. Significant pericardial bleeding was defined as >80 mL of blood by using peer review article definitions. Results Patients were men (76%) with a mean age of 62 years (range 28-84 years). Epicardial access for ventricular tachycardia ablation was indicated in 80% of the patients. Successful epicardial access was obtained in all cases, with pressure monitoring guiding pericardial wire access in all cases. One delayed pericardial effusion occurred. Conclusion Epicardial access with the novel EpiAccess needle and System with real-time pressure monitoring is feasible and safe. The pressure monitoring capability identifies successfully the epicardial space, facilitating access and potentially minimizing complications. This has relevant clinical implications.
Initial international multicenter human experience with a novel epicardial access needle embedded with a real-time pressure/frequency monitoring to facilitate epicardial access: Feasibility and safety / Di Biase, L.; Burkhardt, J. D.; Reddy, V.; Romero, J.; Neuzil, P.; Petru, J.; Sadiva, L.; Skoda, J.; Ventura, M.; Carbucicchio, C.; Dello Russo, A.; Csanadi, Z.; Casella, M.; Fassini, G. M.; Tondo, C.; Sacher, F.; Theran, M.; Dukkipati, S.; Koruth, J.; Jais, P.; Natale, A.. - In: HEART RHYTHM. - ISSN 1547-5271. - 14:7(2017), pp. 981-988. [10.1016/j.hrthm.2017.02.033]