Another interesting medical device…

May 14, 2013

Chest XR, Devices, Non-Trauma, XR

This patient presented with chest pain, we obtained a chest xray:

Epicardial pacemaker 2Epicardial Pacemaker 1

Overlying the cardiac silhouette is a pair of wires for an epicardial pacemaker.  The patient had a coronary artery bypass graft procedure several years ago and required an epicardial pacemaker in the postoperative period.  The leads were left in and the pacemaker is now gone.  The wires are unique to this type of pacemaker as they have the button-like attachment to the epicardial surface.  They are typically used in the postoperative period and are indicated for temporary use; their function deteriorates in a matter of days to weeks (1).

The wires were somewhat confusing to our treatment team until we reviewed his chart and did a little internet searching!

Author:  Russell Jones, MD


1.  Batra AS, Seshadri B.  Postoperative temporary epicardial pacing:  When, how, and why?  Ann Ped Card 2008, 1(2): 120-125. 

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