Aortic perforation due to cardiac resynchronisation therapy defibrillator lead placement: Case report and medicolegal considerations

Antonino M. Grande, Antonio Fiore, Maurizio Merlano, Fabio Buzzi, Alessandro Mazzola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A 45-year-old woman with dilated cardiomyopathy was admitted for the upgrade of a previously implanted pacemaker. Echocardiography showed intraventricular dyssynchrony and a low ejection fraction (0.35). Treatment with a cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) was selected and the device was implanted. CRT-D interrogation revealed proper function. Following procedure termination, the patient went into cardiac arrest and died despite resuscitation attempts. An autopsy revealed that the medial aspect of the right atrium was pierced by an active lead and that the aorta had a deep lesion, 2 mm in length, on its lateral aspect. We explain the probable pathogenesis of this patient's death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-400
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Arrhythmia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015



  • Active lead
  • Aortic perforation
  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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