We have been awarded a joint U.S. patent with Mayo Clinic for systems and methods for epicardial pacing, ablation, and defibrillation. Epicardial “outer” heart surface is often crucial for treatment of arrhythmias but cannot not be reached by standard venous or arterial access. Thus, percutaneous techniques were developed using novel devices, as manipulation vastly differs. Our Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology research team (ICE) and Electrophyiology group at Mayo Clinic developed specific tools – sheaths and catheters, for novel methods of pacing ablation and defibrillation in pericardial space.
The method is reserved for patients with pericardial location of arrhythmic sources and pathways, possibly also patients after cardiosurgery, requiring specific pacing and eventually defibrillation (e.g. pediatric patients and adult parents with depression of systolic function).
ICE team has been conducting device testing and optimization since 2011. Its leader Zdeněk Stárek led experiments taking place in our Electrophysiology lab at Veterinary and Pharmaceutical University. Both stimulation and defibrillation required much less than currently used energy (e.g. allowing new battery strategies). Moreover, lower utilized energies of ICD defibrillation (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator), will presumably result in absence much lesser pain in case patient is conscious during shock delivery.