Incidence, predictors, and outcome of inadvertent malposition of transvenous pacing or defibrillation lead in the left heart

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Abstract

Aims

Inadvertent lead malposition (ILM) in the left heart is a potential cause of thromboembolism and, therefore, a complication of heart rhythm device implantation [HRDI: pacemaker, implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT)]. The aim of the study was to report the incidence and clinical outcome of ILM.

Methods and results

Postoperative lateral and posterior–anterior chest X-rays of all consecutive patients undergoing HRDI from 2007 through 2012 were retrospectively analysed. During the study period, 2579 patients underwent HRDI at our institution. ILM was present in six patients (0.34%, 50% male, mean age 71.5 ± 9.4 years). In one and four patients, malposition was in the left atrium and ventricle, respectively. In one case, the RV-lead was placed in a coronary sinus branch. In four patients, ILM was detected intra-operatively or in the early postoperative period. In the remaining two patients, malposition was not recognized and they suffered cerebral embolism 4 months and 1 year after implantation. ILM was corrected during the same hospital stay (four cases), or during follow-up by percutaneous extraction (two cases). Patients with ILM had significantly more scoliosis (16.7 vs. 0.17%; P = 0.01), congenital heart disease (CHD: 33.3 vs. 0.4%; P = 0.003), or prior surgery for CHD (16.7 vs. 0.5%; P = 0.03). The likelihood of ILM was also increased when HRDI was performed by an inexperienced operator (<100 HRDI; P < 0.01).

Conclusion

The incidence of ILM was 0.34% in our series. Scoliosis, CHD, prior correction of CHD, and limited operator experience were identified as risk factors.

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