Rupture of a pacemaker lead during the course of infective endocarditis

Turk Kardiyol Dern Ars. 2013 Jan;41(1):51-4. doi: 10.5543/tkda.2013.92972.


A 23-year-old male who had a VDDR pacemaker implanted seven years ago due to sick sinus syndrome and recurrent syncope episodes was admitted with symptoms of dyspnea, fever, and tachycardia, which were present for a few days. He was suspected to be suffering from pneumonia and underwent computed tomography scanning of the thorax, which revealed widespread infiltration in the lung parenchyma and pulmonary emboli. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed an extremely mobile echogenic structure in the right atrium, which was determined to be the free portion of a ruptured pacemaker lead. There was an overlying thrombus and/or vegetation-like organized soft tissue within the right ventricle around the lead component. In this article, the rupture of a permanent pacemaker lead, which complicated the course of infective endocarditis associated with pulmonary embolism and pneumonia is reported. We hypothesize that the underlying mechanism for the rupture is soft tissue entrapment within the right ventricle. Unfortunately, this rare and life-threatening situation led to the death of our patient after the surgical removal of the device and its components.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Endocarditis*
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Pacemaker, Artificial*
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome