October 1982

Sepsis and Pacemaker Malfunction

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Albany (NY) Medical College, Albany Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Arch Intern Med. 1982;142(10):1931. doi:10.1001/archinte.1982.00340230179029

• An unconventional presentation of an elderly man with sepsis and a nonfunctioning permanent cardiac pacemaker is reviewed. Our interpretations of signs of an acute abdomen and laboratory evidence suggestive of acute cholecystitis did not lead to the correct diagnosis. The pacemaker electrode had perforated the myocardium and this event is believed to be secondary to bacterial endocarditis at the electrode tip. The therapeutic implications of this unique case are discussed.

(Arch Intern Med 1982;142:1931)