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May 26, 1978

Unusual Migration of a Piece of Pacemaker Electrode

Author Affiliations

University of Minnesota Hospitals Minneapolis

Bagley Clinic Bagley, Minn

JAMA. 1978;239(21):2240-2241. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280480032010

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To the Editor.—  Removal of transvenous pacemaker electrodes from the right ventricle is, in general, a simple procedure. Sometimes the electrode cannot be extracted completely, and part of it is left in the vein after having been transfixed with sutures. Complications related to the piece of electrode left in the vein are rare. We report a case where a piece of electrode left in the right subclavian vein migrated to the left popliteal area.

Report of a Case.—  An 84-year-old farmer with complete heart block had a demand pacemaker with transvenous electrode inserted on Dec 1, 1967. He was readmitted to the hospital on Sept 7, 1968, because of pressure necrosis of the skin overlying the pacemaker and infection of the pacemaker pocket.The pacemaker powerpack was removed and the purulent pocket was drained on Sept 11, 1968. A new pacemaker was implanted a week later on the left. At