Pneumopericardium and pneumothorax contralateral to venous access site after permanent pacemaker implantation

Komandoor Srivathsan, R. A. Byrne, C. P. Appleton, Luis Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


A 77-year-old female underwent implantation of a left-sided dual chamber permanent pacemaker for symptomatic bradycardia with active fixation leads. Eight hours after the procedure, the patient complained of shortness of breath and was found to have a 30% right pneumothorax on chest X-ray. Immediately, a chest tube was inserted, promptly relieving the symptoms. A CT scan of the chest revealed extrusion of the helix of the screw-in atrial lead, through the wall of the right atrial appendage. The helix was abutting a bulla in the right lung, the likely cause for pneumothorax and pneumopericardium. The atrial lead was explanted without incident.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-363
Number of pages3
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2003



  • Contralateral pneumothorax
  • Dual chamber permanent pacemaker
  • Pacemaker insertion complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this