Combined automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator and pacemaker systems: Implantation techniques and follow-up

Academic Article


  • The automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD) effectively prevents death due to ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Some patients who need an AICD also require cardiac pacing to treat symptomatic bradycardia, bradycardia after defibrillation, or to provide a rate floor to reduce the frequency of bradycardia-related ventricular arrhythmias. Some patients also can benefit from antitachycardia pacing. A mapping technique to implant a pacemaker and AICD sensing leads is presented. For patients with a pacemaker who later need an AICD, the left ventricle is mapped with use of the AICD rate-sensing electrodes to identify a site at which the minimal pacemaker stimulus and maximal ventricular electrogram amplitudes are recorded. An external cardioverter-defibrillator that has amplifiers similar to those in the AICD is used to monitor the rate-sensing electrogram. For patients with an implanted AICD, pacemaker implantation is undertaken by mapping the right ventricle with the pacemaker lead while the AICD is in standby mode; the AICD beep monitor is then used to determine a site where pacemaker stimulus detection by the AICD does not occur. Eight patients underwent implantation of a combined AICD-pacemaker system (four ventricular antitachycardia pacemakers, three ventricular demand pacemakers and one atrial demand pacemaker). Neither inhibition of AICD arrhythmia detection nor double counting occurred. Satisfactory AICD-pacemaker function was shown in all patients postoperatively, and no pacemaker malfunction was observed. Thus, with currently available technology, a combined AICD-pacemaker system can be implanted with satisfactory function of both devices and without adverse device-device interactions. © 1989.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Epstein AE; Kay GN; Plumb VJ; Shepard RB; Kirklin JK
  • Start Page

  • 121
  • End Page

  • 131
  • Volume

  • 13
  • Issue

  • 1