Carotid body removal for treatment of chronic systolic heart failure

Int J Cardiol. 2013 Oct 3;168(3):2506-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2013.03.011. Epub 2013 Mar 29.


Background: Augmented reflex response from peripheral chemoreceptors characterises chronic heart failure (CHF), contributes to autonomic imbalance and exercise intolerance and predicts poor outcome.

Methods and results: We present a case of a 56-year-old male patient with ischaemic CHF, who underwent surgical, unilateral carotid body resection to reduce peripheral chemosensitivity. At 2-month and 6-month follow-ups, we document a persistent decrease in peripheral chemosensitivity accompanied by an improvement in exercise capacity, sleep disordered breathing and quality of life. Autonomic balance was favourably affected as evidenced by improved heart rate variability and augmented cardiac baroreflex sensitivity. There were no procedure-related adverse events.

Conclusions: Denervation of a carotid body may offer a clinical strategy to restore autonomic balance and improve morbidity in heart failure (NCT01653821).

Keywords: Autonomic imbalance; Carotid body chemoreceptors; Heart failure; Surgical resection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Carotid Body / surgery*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Heart Failure, Systolic / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged

Associated data