Breaks in the insulation portions of implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) leads may cause nonphysiological sensing and subsequent inappropriate ICD therapy, and may also interfere with the sensing and pacing functions of the ICD. Previously, leads with insulation breaks have been replaced with new sensing leads. However, repair of leads, utilizing a commercially available patch kit may reduce the morbidity, hospital stay, and cost of lead replacement. The long-term durability of these repairs has not previously been reported and is the subject of this study. Patients undergoing ICD sensing lead repair or replacement constituted the study population. Patients were followed at 3 month intervals with an endpoint of new lead abnormalities necessitating repeat lead repair or replacement. Twenty-five patients underwent lead repair and 27 individuals underwent lead replacement for either preoperative nonphysiological sensing (n = 25) or intraoperative evidence of insulation break (n = 27). There was no significant difference between the individuals undergoing lead repair or replacement in age (59 ± 9 vs 60 ± 12 years), mean left ventricular ejection fraction (40% ± 18% vs 33% ± 17%) or age of the lead being repaired or replaced (4.5 ± 2.0 years vs 5.0 ± 2.0 years). During follow-up of 44 ± 23 months, 4 of the repaired leads and 4 of the replaced leads developed new insulation breaks requiring surgical intervention (P = 0.43). In conclusion, in nearly 4 years of follow-up of patients with sensing lead insulation breaks, there was no difference is subsequent lead survival in those with lead repair compared to those with new sensing leads inserted. The strategy of lead repair, when technically feasible, should thus be considered in all patients with sensing abnormalities secondary to insulation breaks.
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator
- Insulation breaks
- Transvenous leads
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine