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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews.

Safety of pacemaker reuse: a meta-analysis with implications for underserved nations

Review published: 2011.

Bibliographic details: Baman TS, Meier P, Romero J, Gakenheimer L, Kirkpatrick JN, Sovitch P, Oral H, Eagle KA.  Safety of pacemaker reuse: a meta-analysis with implications for underserved nations. Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology 2011; 4(3): 318-323. [PubMed: 21493963]


BACKGROUND: A large disparity in medical health care is clearly evident between developed and underserved nations in the field of cardiac electrophysiology, specifically pacemaker implantation. This study aimed to assess the safety of pacemaker reuse.

METHODS AND RESULTS: A computerized search from January 1, 1970, to September 1, 2010, identified 18 studies with outcomes of pacemaker reuse. The primary outcome was pacemaker infection or device erosion as defined by each individual study protocol. Secondary end points were device malfunction defined as a defect in the structural or electric integrity of the pulse generator. Pooled individual patient data (n=2270) from 18 trials were included in the analysis. The proportion of patients in whom an infection developed after pacemaker reuse was 1.97% (1.15% to 3.00%). There was no significant difference in infection rate between pacemaker reuse and new device implantation (odds ratio, 1.31 [0.50 to 3.40], P=0.580). The proportion of patients in whom device malfunction developed after pacemaker reuse was 0.68% (0.27% to 1.28%). Compared with new device implantation, there was an increased risk for malfunction in the reuse group (odds ratio, 5.80 [1.93 to 17.47], P=0.002). This difference was mainly driven by abnormalities in set screws, which possibly occurred during device extraction, as well as nonspecific device "technical errors."

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that pacemaker reuse has an overall low rate of infection and device malfunction and may be a safe and efficacious means of treating patients in underserved nations with symptomatic bradyarrhythmias and no other method of obtaining a device. However, the results also denote a higher rate of device malfunction as compared with new device implantation. Patients with highly symptomatic conduction disease may benefit from pacemaker reuse; however, they should be closely monitored for device malfunction, especially during implantation.

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2014 University of York.

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