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J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2004 Nov;15(11):1258-62.

Incidence and risk factors of early venous thrombosis associated with permanent pacemaker leads.

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1
Department of General Internal Medicine, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Pacemaker lead implantation can cause thrombosis, which can be associated with serious local morbidity and complicated by pulmonary embolism. Few reliable estimates of the incidence of thrombosis have been reported. The contribution of established risk factors to venous thrombosis in patients with implanted pacemaker leads is unknown.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

One hundred forty-five consecutive patients n = 145) underwent routine clinical and Doppler ultrasound evaluation for thrombosis before and 3, 6, and 12 months after lead implantation. Established risk factors for venous thrombosis were assessed in detail for all patients. Clinical outcome, including clinically manifest thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, associated pacemaker lead infection, complicated reinterventions, and death, was evaluated. Thrombosis was observed in 34 (23%) of 145 patients. Thrombosis did not cause any signs or symptoms in 31 patients but resulted in overt clinical symptoms in 3 patients. The absence of anticoagulant therapy, use of hormone therapy, and a personal history of venous thrombosis were associated with an increased risk of thrombosis. The risk of thrombosis increased in the presence of multiple pacemaker leads compared to a single lead.

CONCLUSION:

Established risk factors for venous thrombosis and the presence of multiple pacemaker leads contribute substantially to the occurrence of thrombosis associated with permanent pacemaker leads. Risk factor assessment prior to implantation may be useful for identifying patients at risk for thrombotic complications. Preventive management in these patients is warranted.

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