FRANCIS E. MARCHLINSKI, M.D.; BELINDA T. FLORES, M.S.N.; ALFRED E. BUXTON, M.D.; W. CLARK HARGROVE III, M.D.; V. PAUL ADDONIZIO, M.D.; LARRY W. STEPHENSON, M.D.; ALDEN H. HARKEN, M.D.; JOHN U. DOHERTY, M.D.; E. WAYNE GROGAN Jr., M.D.; MARK E. JOSEPHSON, M.D.
Twenty-six patients with refractory ventricular arrhythmias received the automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. A patch lead only was placed during arrhythmia surgery in 7 other patients. During 13 ± 6 (SD) months, the device discharged in 10 patients because of a sustained ventricular arrhythmia. No sudden deaths occurred. There were 31 complications in 17 patients, including postoperative refractory heart failure, coronary artery erosion, subclavian vein thrombosis, postoperative stroke after conversion of atrial fibrillation, atelectasis with pneumonia, symptomatic pleural effusions, and infection at the generator site. The cardioverter-defibrillator discharged in 9 asymptomatic patients, failed to terminate ventricular fibrillation during postoperative testing in 3 patients, and had premature battery failure in 4 patients. Tachycardia slowing during chronic amiodarone therapy and unipolar ventricular pacing during ventricular fibrillation precluded or delayed arrhythmia sensing. Thus, the cardioverter-defibrillator can be life saving, but its potential complications and interactions with antiarrhythmic drugs and pacemakers must be considered at patient selection.
MARCHLINSKI FE, FLORES BT, BUXTON AE, HARGROVE WC, ADDONIZIO VP, STEPHENSON LW, et al. The Automatic Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator: Efficacy, Complications, and Device Failures. Ann Intern Med. ;104:481–488. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-104-4-481
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1986;104(4):481-488.
Cardiology, Rhythm Disorders and Devices.
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