Therapy From a Novel Substernal Lead: The ASD2 Study

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Objectives: The ASD2 (Acute Extravascular Defibrillation, Pacing, and Electrogram) study evaluated the ability to adequately sense, pace, and defibrillate patients with a novel implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) lead implanted in the substernal space. Background: Subcutaneous ICDs are an alternative to a transvenous defibrillator system when transvenous implantation is not possible or desired. An alternative extravascular system placing a lead under the sternum has the potential to reduce defibrillation energy and the ability to deliver pacing therapies. Methods: An investigational lead was inserted into the substernal space via a minimally invasive subxiphoid access, and a cutaneous defibrillation patch or subcutaneous active can emulator was placed on the left mid-axillary line. Pacing thresholds and extracardiac stimulation were evaluated. Up to 2 episodes of ventricular fibrillation were induced to test defibrillation efficacy. Results: The substernal lead was implanted in 79 patients, with a median implantation time of 12.0 ± 9.0 min. Ventricular pacing was successful in at least 1 vector in 76 of 78 patients (97.4%), and 72 of 78 (92.3%) patients had capture in ≥1 vector with no extracardiac stimulation. A 30-J shock successfully terminated 104 of 128 episodes (81.3%) of ventricular fibrillation in 69 patients. There were 7 adverse events in 6 patients causally (n = 5) or possibly (n = 2) related to the ASD2 procedure. Conclusions: The ASD2 study demonstrated the ability to pace, sense, and defibrillate using a lead designed specifically for the substernal space.




Boersma, L. V. A., Merkely, B., Neuzil, P., Crozier, I. G., Akula, D. N., Timmers, L., … Knight, B. P. (2019). Therapy From a Novel Substernal Lead: The ASD2 Study. JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology, 5(2), 186–196.

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