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Ann Thorac Surg. 2004 Mar;77(3):1077-9.

Ventricular tachycardia associated with transmyocardial migration of an epicardial pacing wire.

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  • 1The University of Michigan Health System, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.


A 66-year-old man who had undergone a three-vessel coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) procedure 3 years previously presented with ventricular tachycardia (VT) and cardiac arrest. Echocardiography demonstrated a wire coursing through the right ventricle into the pulmonary artery. The wire was removed with a snare and confirmed to be an epicardial temporary pacing wire placed during the CABG operation. We suspect that the epicardial pacing wire eroded through the right atrium and migrated into the right ventricle, contributing to the VT. Complications due to temporary epicardial pacing wires placed during CABG are discussed.

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