His-bundle pacing to treat an unusual case of chest pain after pacemaker implant

Published:November 21, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jccase.2021.11.002


      A 63-year-old man with hypertension and 3-vessel coronary artery disease previously treated with coronary artery bypass graft was admitted to our emergency room complaining of chest pain. He had undergone pacemaker implant 5 months before due to paroxysmal advanced atrioventricular block. Electrocardiography and troponin testing were unremarkable. Echocardiography and chest X-ray ruled out lead displacement and perforation. Interrogation showed normal parameters [right atrium: impedance 550 Ohm bipolar, sensing 2.4 mV bipolar; threshold 0.50 V/0.4 ms bipolar; right ventricle (RV): impedance 580 Ohm bipolar, sensing > 25 mV bipolar; threshold 1.5 V/0.4 ms bipolar and 0.4 V/0.4 ms unipolar]. Pain was evoked only during RV pacing. An electrophysiology study demonstrated painful RV pacing from multiple sites. We hypothesized that pain was associated with pacing-induced dyssynchrony. His-bundle pacing (HBP) was considered as a solution.
      We achieved HBP with a bipolar fixed-screw catheter connected to a cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemaker generator. During HBP above threshold (4.00 V/1.00 ms) the patient did not complain of any pain. He was discharged 3 days later pain-free with His-bundle lead amplitude set at 5.00 V/1.00 ms. After 6 months the patient was asymptomatic, with the device showing normal functioning.
      This is the first clinical experience of painful RV pacing treated with HBP.

      Learning objective

      Painful right ventricular pacing in the absence of perforation is a rare but potentially underdiagnosed condition. Ventricular dyssynchrony could represent the underlying mechanism. Physiological electromechanical activation achieved via His-bundle pacing could represent an effective therapeutic option.


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