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November 1972

Electrode Complications in Patients With Permanent Cardiac PacemakersTen Years' Experience

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Surgery, New York University Medical School.

Arch Surg. 1972;105(5):705-710. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1972.04180110030009

Of 200 patients who had permanent cardiac pacemakers implanted between 1961 and 1971, 70 had epicardial catheters with 11% mortality and 30% major complications, related to wire breakage or skin erosion. The remainder (130) had endocardial catheters with 2% mortality, and 31.5% major complications related to erosion of skin and perforations of the heart. The "trapped endocardial electrode," unique to the system was encountered 11 times. It is concluded that endocardial catheters are preferable to epicardial.