Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Background: Implantation of an additional pace/sense (P/S) lead is commonly used in patients with implantable cardioverter/defibrillators (ICDs) to overcome P/S defects of integrated defibrillation leads (HV-P/S leads). No information is available about the clinical outcome and the incidence of complications in these patients. Methods: Retrospective analysis was performed in 151 patients (125 male, age 54.9 ± 13.6 years, LVEF 48.1 ± 17.8%, CAD in 86 [57%], DCM in 24 [16%], ARVCM in 11 [7%]) who received an additional P/S lead between 1990 and 2002 (54 patients with abdominal and 97 patients with pectoral ICD system). Statistical analysis was done using Kaplan-Meier survival curves. Results: The average follow-up (FU) after implantation of the additional P/S lead was 43 ± 27 months. In total 117 patients [77.5%] remain implanted; 22 patients died due to cardiac-related reasons. After a FU of 23 ± 23 months, 43 patients [28.5%] experienced lead-related problems after implantation of the additional P/S lead: oversensing in 23 [53.5%], insulation defect in 3 [7.0%], fracture in 1 [2.3%], system infection in 4 [9.3%], and defect of the HV-P/S lead in 6 [14.0%] patients. The event-free cumulative survival of the additional P/S lead after 1, 2, and 5 years was 87.0%, 79.8%, and 59.4%, respectively (for pectoral leads: 89.6%, 82.0%, and 60.0%, respectively). Conclusions: Implantation of an additional P/S lead in case of failure of an HV-P/S lead is safe. However, it is associated with a substantial rate of complications during FU. Therefore, extraction of damaged defibrillation leads instead of implantation of P/S leads should be favored.
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