JOURNAL ARTICLE

Completed FDA feasibility trial of surgically placed temporary diaphragm pacing electrodes: A promising option to prevent and treat respiratory failure

Raymond P Onders, Alan Markowitz, Vanessa P Ho, Jeff Hardacre, Yuri Novitsky, Christopher Towe, MaryJo Elmo, Cindy Kaplan, Robert Schilz
American Journal of Surgery 2018, 215 (3): 518-521
29195690

BACKGROUND: Etiologies contributing to failure to wean from mechanical ventilation (MV) are multiple, resulting in morbid and costly outcomes. Diaphragm pacing (DP) is used in spinal cord injury to replace MV. Temporary DP could be utilized in acute respiratory failure to reduce MV.

METHODS: A prospective FDA feasibility trial evaluated temporary DP electrodes implanted in each hemi-diaphragm during a subject's primary procedure. Objectives included: ability to provide ventilation, stability analysis with diaphragm electromyography, and adverse event monitoring.

RESULTS: Twelve patients underwent successful implantation via median sternotomy, laparoscopy or laparotomy. Electrode stimulation exceeded ideal tidal volumes by an average of 37% (0%-95%) confirming ability to prevent atrophy. Daily electromyography confirmed stability of placement and was useful in evaluating hypoventilation. There were no complications and all 48 study electrodes remained intact until complete removal.

CONCLUSION: This trial demonstrates ease of placement, removal, functionality and safety of temporary DP electrodes which therapeutically decreases diaphragm atrophy.

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