Re-use of DDD pulse generators explanted from patients died of unrelated causes is associated with an additional cost of two transvenous leads if implanted as DDD itself, and high rate of infection according to some studies. We studied the clinical and economical aspects of reutilization of explanted DDD pacemakers programmed to VDD mode. Out of 28 patients who received VDD pacemaker during the period, October 2000- September 2001 in the Department of Cardiology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, 5 poor patients were implanted with explanted DDD pulse generators programmed to VDD mode. Each implantation was planned and carried out according to a standard protocol. The age ranged from 45 to 75 (mean-61) years. The indications for pacing were complete heart block (4) and second degree AV block (1). The clinical profile, costs and complications, if any were noted and followed up at regular intervals. The results were compared with patients who received new DDD pulse generators during this period. The additional cost for the atrial lead was not required in these patients. None of these patients had any local site infection. Compared to the two-lead system, the single lead system provided more rapid implantation and minimized complications associated with placement of an atrial lead. The explanted DDD pacemaker can be safely reused as VDD mode with same efficacy in selected patient population. This is associated with lower cost and complications compared to reimplantation as DDD itself
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