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Pediatr Radiol. 2013 Dec;43(12):1647-51. doi: 10.1007/s00247-013-2736-8. Epub 2013 Jul 7.

Twiddler syndrome with a twist: a cause of vagal nerve stimulator lead fracture.

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Division of Pediatric Radiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, 3333 Burnet Ave, Cincinnati, OH, 45229, USA,


Twiddler syndrome is uncommon in children and most commonly described as causing lead retraction with implanted cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators. We report an uncommon case of a child repeatedly "twiddling" a vagal nerve stimulator to the point of lead fracture. The findings of Twiddler syndrome illustrated here apply to all implanted devices and show the complication of lead fracture in addition to the more commonly reported complication of lead retraction. This case highlights the need to be aware of the radiographic findings of this phenomenon in children with implanted vagal nerve stimulators due to the perceived increased risk of "twiddling" in pediatric and developmentally delayed patients.

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