The hot can: ICD failure presenting as severe shoulder pain

Jose A. Joglar, Robert C. Kowal, Timothy Brown, Brenda Van Horn, Richard L. Page

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


We describe a patient whose presentation of ICD generator failure was excruciating shoulder pain lasting 3 hours. This painful episode prompted evaluation and subsequent generator replacement. Destructive analysis of the explanted device revealed a short circuit of three battery filter capacitors, which resulted in the battery "dumping" its full energy very rapidly, since the impedance across the battery terminal was < 1 ohm. The duration of the painful episode was equal to the estimated ICD battery life under this low impedance condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-397
Number of pages2
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001



  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator
  • Pain
  • Short circuit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this

Joglar, J. A., Kowal, R. C., Brown, T., Van Horn, B., & Page, R. L. (2001). The hot can: ICD failure presenting as severe shoulder pain. PACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology, 24(3), 396-397.