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Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2004 Nov;27(11):1526-9.

Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators: device longevity is more important than smaller size: the patient's viewpoint.

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Department of Medicine, Cardiology Division, Arrhythmia Service, Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10497, USA.


The size of pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) has been diminishing progressively. If two devices are otherwise identical in components, features and technology, the one with a larger battery should have a longer service life. Therefore, patients who receive smaller devices may require more frequent surgery to replace the devices. It is uncertain whether this tradeoff for smaller size is desired by patients. We surveyed 156 patients to determine whether patients prefer a larger, longer-lasting device, or a smaller device that is less noticeable but requires more frequent surgery. The effects of subgroups were evaluated; these included body habitus, age, gender, and patients seen at time of pulse generator replacement (PGR), initial implant, or follow-up. Among 156 patients surveyed, 151 expressed a preference. Of these, 90.1% preferred the larger device and 9.9% the smaller device (P <0.0001). Among thin patients, 79.5% preferred a larger device. Ninety percent of males and 89.2% of females selected the larger device. Among younger patients (< or =72 years), 89.6% preferred the larger device, as did 90.5% of older patients (>72 years). Of patients undergoing PGR or initial implants, 95% favored the larger device, as did 86% of patients presenting for follow-up. The vast majority of patients prefer a larger device to reduce the number of potential replacement operations. This preference crosses the spectrum of those with a previously implanted device, those undergoing initial implants, those returning for routine follow-up, and patients of various ages, gender, and habitus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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