Device complications in adult congenital heart disease

Heart Rhythm. 2015 Feb;12(2):338-44. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2014.10.038. Epub 2014 Oct 31.


Background: Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) are increasingly implanted in adults with congenital heart disease (CHD), but little is known about implant-related complications and mortality.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare pacemaker and ICD implantation complication rates between adults with and those without CHD using a comprehensive, statewide database.

Methods: We used the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project database to identify initial transvenous pacemaker and ICD implantations and implant-related complications in California hospitals from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2011. We calculated relative risks of implant-related complications by comparing those with and those without CHD using Poisson regression with robust standard errors, adjusting for age and medical comorbidities.

Results: We identified 105,852 patients undergoing pacemaker implantation, 1465 with noncomplex CHD and 66 with complex CHD. CHD was not associated with increased risk of pacemaker implant-related complications: adjusted risk ratio (aRR) 0.92, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.74-1.14, P = .45. We identified 32,948 patients undergoing ICD implantation, 815 with noncomplex CHD and 87 with complex CHD. Patients with CHD had increased risk of ICD implant-related complications: aRR 1.36, 95% CI 1.05-1.76, P = .02. Patients with complex CHD had greater increased risk of ICD implant-related complications: aRR 2.14, 95% CI 1.16-3.95, P = .02. In patients receiving devices, CHD was associated with a trend toward lower 30-day in-hospital mortality after pacemaker (P = .07) and ICD (P = .19) implantation.

Conclusion: Among adult patients undergoing device implantation in California, CHD was associated with increased risk of ICD implant-related complications, but not pacemaker implant-related complications or higher 30-day in-hospital mortality.

Keywords: Congenital heart disease; Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator; Pacemaker.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • California / epidemiology
  • Defibrillators, Implantable / adverse effects*
  • Equipment Failure
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / mortality
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / therapy*
  • Hospital Mortality / trends
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pacemaker, Artificial / adverse effects*
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors