Arrhythmia Center of Heart Vascular&Stroke Institute Achieving 300 cases of Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy

The Arrhythmia Center of Heart Vascular&Stroke Institute of Samsung Medical Center has achieved 300 cases of Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) for the first time in South Korea.

For CRT, electrode wires connected to the resynchronization device inserted in a patient’s body are pushed to three areas including the right atrium, right ventricle, and left ventricular wall, and electricity is flowed to correct abnormal signals and asymmetrical cardiac contraction.

The main target of CRT is a chronic heart failure patient who does not respond to pharmacotherapy and shows asymmetrical cardiac contraction.

For the preexisting pacemaker treatment, only one or two electrode wires are inserted, but for CRT, a greater number of electrode wires are required so that the treatment process is more complicated. Thus, it is considered as a major high-level procedure for heart disease. 

To insert electrode wires accurately to the left ventricular wall and areas that have narrow and complex blood vessels and show abnormal electrical signals, a doctor who performs the procedure must be very experienced and skilled.

Since it is a difficult procedure to perform, the treatment effect is dramatic. When patients whose heart function is 50-60 points with 100 points being a perfect score receive this therapy, 70-80% of them become improved. The heart function of about 1/3 of them even becomes near normal.


To improve the treatment effect, Samsung Medical Center is leading the procedure development recently.
The team of Prof. Seung Jung Park of Division of Cardiology and Prof. Dong Seop Jeong of Division of Cardiovascular surgery is developing a hybrid treatment method that an electrode wire is inserted to the heart through a small hole in the chest using a thoracoscope without making a large incision in the chest. Also, the team is actively trying to perform phleboplasty in which a vein is penetrated and widened when a procedure is hard to be done because of the narrow vein.  

Prof. Seung Jung Park said that although the procedure was not widely known because of its difficulty, he wanted to contribute the improvement of survival rate and quality of life of heart failure patients by making more efforts in procedure development.