Permanent transvenous cardiac pacing is usually accomplished through the upper limb veins. When these are occluded, several other vascular access options exist which include the internal jugular, external jugular, femoral and iliac veins as well as more proximal access of the subclavian veins. Anterograde and retrograde techniques to restore subclavian venous patency has been described. A review of these approaches is undertaken, with a discussion of their pros and cons. Familiarity with these techniques will enable the implanter to perform transvenous pacing when faced with limited vascular access.
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