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Pacemaker Longevity: The World's Longest-Lasting VVI Pacemaker

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Objective: To describe VVI-pacemaker longevity by model type at our institution and report on a long-lasting model and the longest-lasting pacemaker to be described in the literature.

Background: Cardiac pacemakers are becoming increasingly common in the United States. Presently their batteries are expected to last up to 12 years. Pacemaker generator change is associated with increased cost to the health care system and is inconvenient for patients.

Methods: After identifying a group of very long-lasting CPI Microlith 605 VVI pulse generators, we reviewed records on all patients who had either Guidant or Medtronic pulse generator explantation at our institution over a 10-year period. Average longevities were calculated for all VVI pacemakers, four common VVI models, and the CPI Microlith 605.

Results: A total of 105 VVI-programmed pacemakers were identified. Their average longevity was 7.2 years. The two most common Medtronic VVI-programmed pacemakers explanted were the Thera (7.1 years) and Kappa (7.3 years). The two most common Guidant/CPI models were the Vigor (4.2 years) and Discovery (5.7 years). The CPI Microlith 605 (19.2 years) lasted more than 26 years in one patient before being explanted.

Conclusion: At a time when pacemakers are being used more frequently, pacemaker longevity may decrease as a result of the use of dual-chamber pacing systems. In our study, the CPI Microlith 605 had an average longevity more than twice that of all other VVI pacemakers. We also report on a pulse generator that lasted 26.3 years.

A.N.E. 2007;12(3):223–226
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Keywords: Microlith 605; VVI pacing; cardiac pacing; longest-lasting pacemaker; pacemaker longevity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 2: Cardiovascular Division, Covance Health System, Reno, Nevada

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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