Sensing lead failure in implantable defibrillators: a comparison of two commonly used leads.
INTRODUCTION: Despite major technological advances, structural problems in implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) endocardial sensing leads remain a significant problem. There are two types of ICD sensing leads: (1) dedicated bipolar leads and (2) integrated lead systems that include defibrillation coils. The long-term performance of these two lead systems has not been directly compared.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We prospectively examined the incidence of lead failure manifested by inappropriate arrhythmia detection in 247 consecutive patients undergoing abdominal ICD implant at a single center between 1991 and 1995. A total of 107 patients received BT-10 (dedicated bipolar) leads and 140 patients received Endotak (integrated bipolar) leads. Over a mean follow-up of 860 +/- 442 days, there were 19 (17.8%) lead failures with the BT-10 lead (261 to 1,505 days postimplant) compared with only 6 (4.3%; P < 0.01) with the Endotak lead (410 to 1,211 days postimplant). Lead failure was due to an insulation defect in all cases, with the problem occurring in the proximal lead (within the pulse generator pocket) in all but one case. Lead survival was significantly better with the Endotak lead (P = 0.015, risk ratio = 3.0, 95% confidence intervals 1.2 to 7.6).
CONCLUSION: Late lead failure due to insulation defects in BT-10 sensing leads (causing inappropriate ICD activation) is a relatively common and progressive phenomenon, with difficulties becoming apparent as long as 4 years after implant. This problem is a likely cause of inappropriate shocks in patients with BT-10 leads. Implantation of a new sensing lead should be considered at the time of elective pulse generator replacement, even in the absence of demonstrable oversensing.
Published In/Presented At
Degeratu, F. T., Khalighi, K., Peters, R. W., Shorofsky, S. R., & Gold, M. R. (2000). Sensing lead failure in implantable defibrillators: a comparison of two commonly used leads. Journal of cardiovascular electrophysiology, 11(1), 21–24. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-8167.2000.tb00730.x
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine