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Heart Rhythm. 2012 May;9(5):717-20. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2011.12.009. Epub 2011 Dec 13.

Unpredictable battery depletion of St Jude Atlas II and Atlas+ II HF implantable cardioverter-defibrillators.

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  • 1Cardiac Arrhythmia Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.



Predictable progression to battery depletion is necessary for device management in patients with pacemakers or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, particularly in patients who either are pacemaker dependent or have required implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapies.


To determine the incidence and characteristics of unexpected battery depletion in patients implanted with a cardiac resynchronization therapy - defibrillator (CRT-D) device.


All patients with a St Jude Atlas+ HF or Atlas II HF CRT-D device implanted between 2004 and 2007 at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Nashville VA Medical Center (Vanderbilt University) were studied. All patients with early generator depletion (transition of generator voltage above specified elective replacement indicator [ERI] to end of life [EOL] in less than 90 days) were evaluated further.


Eight cases (mean age 69.6 ± 9 years) with abrupt battery depletion were identified among 191 patients (4.2%) implanted with a St Jude Atlas CRT-D device. The longevity of 8 premature depletion devices was 46.4 ± 10 months (median 45 months). The battery voltage in these 8 devices decreased from a mean of 2.48 ± 0.03 V (above ERI) to 2.3 ± 0.08 V (below ERI) over 33.3 ± 23 days (range 1-59 days; median 38.5 days). One device reached EOL status within 1 day of having battery voltage above ERI and another device within 12 days.


The incidence of abrupt battery depletion was 4.2% in patients implanted with a St Jude Atlas CRT-D device. No common mechanism has been identified for this failure. Close monitoring of battery voltage and timely generator replacement are required in patients with these devices.

Copyright © 2012 Heart Rhythm Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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