Chronic performance of steroid-eluting epicardial leads in a growing pediatric population: A 10-year comparison

M. Silvana Horenstein, Mehdi Hakimi, Henry Walters, Peter P. Karpawich

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50 Scopus citations


Patient size and congenital heart defects complicate pacemaker therapy in children favoring an initial epicardial approach. Steroid-elating (SE) epicardial (EPI) leads maintain stable, low pacing thresholds in the short-term when compared to the nonsteroid (NSE) epicardial (EPI) leads. The purpose of this study was to evaluate chronic, 10-year performance of SE leads in growing children compared with NSE EPI leads implanted during the same time interval. From 1990 to 2000, 35 patients (age 1 month to 18 year, median 3 years), 28 with and 7 without congenital heart disease (CHD) received 51 SE leads: 27 ventricular and 24 atrial. NSE leads were implanted in 27 patients (age 1-28 years, median 8 years), 24 with and 3 without CHD: 27 ventricular and 1 atrial. Pacing lead threshold, impedance, and energy were measured at implant and during a 10-year follow-up. Unpaired t-test showed that impedance remained stable for all leads with lower mean values for the SE (376 ± 55 vs 443 ± 109 Ω (P = NS). The mean energy requirement for SE leads at 10 years (1.2 ± 0.9 μJ) was significantly lower than for NSE (4.4 ± 5.5 μJ) (P < 0.05). At 2.5-V output, chronic thresholds for SE leads did not significantly differ from implant values for atrial (0.08 vs 0.09 ms) or ventricular (0.08 vs 0.08 ms) sites. There were no differences in SE lead performances among patients with or without CHD. Fracture or dislodgement occurred in two SE (4%) and four NSE (14%) leads. SE outperform NSE EPI leads and show stable, chronic low thresholds over time in all growing children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1467-1471
Number of pages5
JournalPacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number7 I
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003


  • Epicardial electrode
  • Pediatrics
  • Steroid-eluting leads


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