Pacemaker lead fracture

Case contributed by Anna Podlasek


Fever and shortness of breath

Patient Data

Age: 95 years
Gender: Female

Left chest wall dual-chamber pacemaker in situ; the atrial lead is broken ~1 cm from its attachment to the box.
Bilateral pleural effusions with adjacent compressive atelectasis, right more than left.

Green and red lines show two discontinued fragments of the broken lead.

Case Discussion

The incidence of lead fracture ranges from 0.1% to 4.2% per patient-year. 

Risk factors for lead fracture are:

Case courtesy of Dr Carla Goncalves.

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