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Am J Cardiol. 2000 Apr 15;85(8):992-5.

Sudden death in patients after transcatheter device implantation for congenital heart disease.

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Department of Cardiology, Children's Hospital, and Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


To explore whether transcatheter intracardiac devices increase risk for sudden death, we analyzed patient and device-related variables with a case-control design. Sudden death was defined as unexpected death with abrupt onset and rapid deterioration. Cases included all patients known to have died suddenly after device closure at our institution, using 3 large databases. Controls (2:1), matched on year of procedure, were chosen randomly from the same databases. Data were obtained from medical record review. Of 777 patients who received implants between February 1989 and February 1999, 9 were known to have died suddenly (1.2%). In 27 cases and controls, diverse defects were occluded: atrial (n = 16), ventricular (n = 4), Fontan fenestration (n = 4), or other (n = 3). Cases were more likely to have had a history of serious arrhythmias (p = 0.008), severe valve regurgitation (p = 0.03), > or =1 cardiac surgery (p = 0.009), and multiple devices (p = 0.03). Cases were somewhat more likely to have pulmonary hypertension (p = 0.09), ventricular dysfunction (p = 0.09), and nonatrial septal defects (p = 0.10). Patients were less likely to have device arm fractures (p = 0.05). The following were not related to sudden death: age, weight, gender, low systemic cardiac index, end-diastolic pressure, major noncardiac disease, serious adverse events, maximum device size, malposition, and residual leak. This study suggests that sudden death was more likely to occur in device-implanted patients who had severe underlying cardiac disease and/or multiple devices. No other device-related variables were associated with sudden death.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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