In November, physicians at the Heart Rhythm Institute at the Oklahoma Heart Hospital became the first in the state of Oklahoma to use His-bundle pacing (HBP).
His-bundle pacing uses the same pacemaker as in a typical pacemaker placement, but utilizes a specialized screw-in lead placed in the His bundle rather than in the right ventricle. The His bundle is a bundle of cardiac fibers responsible for electrical conduction in the heart.
While not a new medical technology, His-bundle pacing is slowly seeing a resurgence in use. It’s a more complicated and time-intensive procedure than typical lead placement for a traditional pacemaker and not every patient will qualify for His-bundle pacing, as success can depend on the anatomy of the patient’s heart.
For some patients, His-bundle pacing is a better long-term option than a traditional pacemaker since it paces from a different area of the heart. While right ventricular pacing is successful and low-risk for most patients, some patients who require constant pacing may develop heart failure over time. This happens because right ventricular pacing can cause dyssynchrony, or a difference in the timing of contractions in the different ventricles of the heart. When the ventricles are not in sync, it may cause the pumping function of the heart to deteriorate over time and cause heart failure.
The availability of His-bundle pacing in Oklahoma provides more options for patients who require constant pacing and may be at increased risk for heart failure. Oklahoma Heart Hospital patients with constant pacing are closely monitored for any signs of heart failure, such as shortness of breath or swelling in the legs, and often an echocardiogram can be ordered to check the heart pumping function. If symptoms of heart failure begin, a patient may be switched to His-bundle pacing to avoid any further weakening of the heart pumping function (ejection fraction) or may be upgraded to a defibrillator or biventricular pacemaker with multiple leads.
Contact the Oklahoma Heart Hospital to learn more about the newly available His-bundle pacing option for patients who need constant pacing.