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Why we need postmortem analysis of cardiac implantable electronic devices


Mauf, Sabrina; Jentzsch, Thorsten; Laberke, Patrick J; Thali, Michael J; Bartsch, Christine (2016). Why we need postmortem analysis of cardiac implantable electronic devices. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 61(4):988-992.

Abstract

The prevalence of cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs), pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) is increasing. However, postmortem analysis of CIEDs is not performed routinely. Fourteen consecutive CIEDs were analyzed. The indication for and date of implantation, technical data, CIED reprogramming, heart rhythm disturbances, patient demographics and medical consultations were investigated. Death during the first year after implantation was seen in 54%, whereof 71% consulted a physician within 10 days before death. The time of death was attributed to a particular day in 29%. There was a relationship between CIEDs and cause/manner of death in 50%. Although limited by a small sample size, this study advocates the routine postmortem CIED analysis for forensic and clinical purposes in selected cases. Patients with CIEDs seem to show an increased risk of death during the first year after implantation. The analysis of CIEDs can be helpful in evaluating the time/cause/manner of death.

Abstract

The prevalence of cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs), pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) is increasing. However, postmortem analysis of CIEDs is not performed routinely. Fourteen consecutive CIEDs were analyzed. The indication for and date of implantation, technical data, CIED reprogramming, heart rhythm disturbances, patient demographics and medical consultations were investigated. Death during the first year after implantation was seen in 54%, whereof 71% consulted a physician within 10 days before death. The time of death was attributed to a particular day in 29%. There was a relationship between CIEDs and cause/manner of death in 50%. Although limited by a small sample size, this study advocates the routine postmortem CIED analysis for forensic and clinical purposes in selected cases. Patients with CIEDs seem to show an increased risk of death during the first year after implantation. The analysis of CIEDs can be helpful in evaluating the time/cause/manner of death.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Department of Trauma Surgery
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Legal Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:340 Law
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:03 May 2016 15:50
Last Modified:17 Jan 2017 04:08
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0022-1198
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.13075
PubMed ID:27364278

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