Long-term follow-up of cardioverter-defibrillator implanted under conscious sedation in prepectoral subfascial position

Antonio Pacifico, Kevin R. Wheelan, Nadim Nasir, Peter J. Wells, Timothy K. Doyle, Susan A. Johnson, Philip D. Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Background: Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) with intravenous electrode systems and downsized generators can be implanted by use of operative techniques similar to those employed for the insertion of permanent pacemakers. However, the safety, efficacy, and long-term follow-up of simplified implantation procedures remain to be evaluated. This report is a prospective long-term evaluation of nonselected patients receiving ICDs in the prepectoral subfascial position under conscious sedation. Methods and Results: Clinical characteristics of the 231 consecutive patients included a mean age of 63 years, a male-to-female ratio of 6.4, a left ventricular ejection fraction of 0.34, a mild-to-moderate heart failure in 91%, coronary artery disease in 84%, and a history of aborted sudden cardiac death or refractory ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Insertion of transvenous leads and prepectoral subfascial ICD implantation were performed in electrophysiology laboratories under local anesthesia and conscious sedation with intravenous midazolam and propofol. Successful implantation in all patients (operation time, 80±32 minutes, mean±SD) irrespective of body size and skin thickness was free of major complications, including need for emergency intubation. After surgery, 1 pocket hematoma, 1 seroma, and 1 pneumothorax required treatment. There was no operative or first-month mortality. During long-term follow-up averaging 453±296 days, six leads required repositioning, but pocket erosions or infections did not occur. First-year total survival was 97%. Conclusions: Implantation under conscious sedation of ICDs in the prepectoral subfascial position is a safe and effective procedure with low operative and postoperative morbidity and favorable long-term outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)946-950
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997


  • death, sudden
  • defibrillation
  • tachyarrhythmia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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