Chronic kidney disease and implantable cardioverter defibrillator related complications: 16 years of experience

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2014 Sep;25(9):998-1004. doi: 10.1111/jce.12435. Epub 2014 May 29.


Introduction: Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implantation has become an accepted therapy for the prevention of sudden cardiac death. However, serious comorbidities such as chronic kidney disease (CKD) are influencing the beneficial effects of ICD therapy. In this study, the association between kidney function and the occurrence of ICD related complications was assessed.

Methods: All patients receiving an ICD or cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator between 1996 and 2012 were included. Renal function was categorized as: glomerular filtration rate (GFR) >90, GFR 30-90 or GFR <30 mL/min/1.73 m(2) . Registered complications were pocket hematoma, pneumothorax, lead complications, and device infection.

Results: In 3,147 device recipients, 236 patients (7.5%) suffered from at least 1 complication. Patients with a GFR <30 (n = 110) had a higher event rate for hematoma, pneumothorax, and infection. These patients were older, had a higher incidence of hypertension, diabetes, and a lower body mass index (BMI; P < 0.05). After correcting for these risk factors, hematoma remained independently associated with a GFR <30 mL/min (OR 2.7, CI: 1.05-6.9, P = 0.04). Device infection, pneumothorax, and lead complications were not independently associated with a GFR <30 mL/min/1.73 m(2) .

Conclusions: Patients with CKD suffered from more ICD related complications than patients without kidney disease. This was partially associated with kidney dysfunction itself as was the case with the occurrence of hematoma. However, the high burden of risk factors associated with device complications in patients with renal disease played an important role as well.

Keywords: chronic kidney disease; complications; hematoma; implantable cardioverter defibrillator; infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Defibrillators, Implantable / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors