Send to

Choose Destination
Circulation. 2010 Oct 19;122(16):1553-61. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.976076. Epub 2010 Oct 4.

Complication rates associated with pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator generator replacements and upgrade procedures: results from the REPLACE registry.

Author information

University of Washington, Division of Cardiology, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98198-6422, USA.



Prospective studies defining the risk associated with pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator replacement surgeries do not exist. These procedures are generally considered low risk despite results from recent retrospective series reporting higher rates.


We prospectively assessed predefined procedure-related complication rates associated with elective pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator generator replacements over 6 months of follow-up. Two groups were studied: those without (cohort 1) and those with (cohort 2) a planned transvenous lead addition for replacement or upgrade to a device capable of additional therapies. Complications were adjudicated by an independent events committee. Seventy-two US academic and private practice centers participated. Major complications occurred in 4.0% (95% confidence interval, 2.9 to 5.4) of 1031 cohort 1 patients and 15.3% (95% confidence interval, 12.7 to 18.1) of 713 cohort 2 patients. In both cohorts, major complications were higher with implantable cardioverter-defibrillator compared with pacemaker generator replacements. Complications were highest in patients who had an upgrade to or a revised cardiac resynchronization therapy device (18.7%; 95% confidence interval, 15.1 to 22.6). No periprocedural deaths occurred in either cohort, although 8 later procedure-related deaths occurred in cohort 2. The 6-month infection rates were 1.4% (95% confidence interval, 0.7 to 2.3) and 1.1% (95% confidence interval, 0.5 to 2.2) for cohorts 1 and 2, respectively.


Pacemaker and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator generator replacements are associated with a notable complication risk, particularly those with lead additions. These data support careful decision making before device replacement, when managing device advisories, and when considering upgrades to more complex systems.


[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center