Comparative study of acute and mid-term complications with leadless and transvenous cardiac pacemakers


Aurora Medical Group


BACKGROUND: Leadless cardiac pacemakers (LCPs) aim to mitigate lead- and pocket-related complications seen with transvenous pacemakers (TVPs).

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare complications between the LCP cohort from the LEADLESS Pacemaker IDE Study (Leadless II) trial and a propensity score-matched real-world TVP cohort.

METHODS: The multicenter LEADLESS II trial evaluated the safety and efficacy of the Nanostim LCP (Abbott, Abbott Park, IL) using structured follow-up, with serious adverse device effects independently adjudicated. TVP data were obtained from Truven Health MarketScan claims databases for patients implanted with single-chamber TVPs between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2014 and more than 1 year of preimplant enrollment data. Comorbidities and complications were identified via International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision and Current Procedural Terminology codes. Short-term (≤1 months) and mid-term (>1-18 months) complications were compared between the LCP cohort and a propensity score-matched subset of the TVP cohort.

RESULTS: Among 718 patients with LCPs (mean age 75.6 ± 11.9 years; 62% men) and 1436 patients with TVPs (mean age 76.1 ± 12.3 years; 63% men), patients with LCPs experienced fewer complications (hazard ratio 0.44; 95% confidence interval 0.32-0.60; P < .001), including short-term (5.8% vs 9.4%; P = .01) and mid-term (0.56% vs 4.9%; P < .001) events. In the short-term time frame, patients with LCPs had more pericardial effusions (1.53% vs 0.35%; P = .005); similar rates of vascular events (1.11% vs 0.42%; P = .085), dislodgments (0.97% vs 1.39%; P = .54), and generator complications (0.70% vs 0.28%; P = .17); and no thoracic trauma compared to patients with TVPs (rate of thoracic trauma 3.27%). In short- and mid-term time frames, TVP events absent from the LCP group included lead-related, pocket-related, and infectious complications.

CONCLUSION: Patients with LCPs experienced fewer overall short- and mid-term complications, including infectious and lead- and pocket-related events, but more pericardial effusions, which were uncommon but serious.

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