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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 8, Issue 4, Pages 283-285
Clinical Vignette

Right Atrial Perforation Secondary to Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Insertion

Nam T Tran,1 Adam Zivin,2 Darius Mozaffarian,2 and Riyad Karmy-Jones1

1Division of Thoracic Surgery, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, USA
2Division of Cardiology, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, USA

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) placements can be associated with serious complications. This paper reports a patient in whom percutaneous placement of an ICD resulted in a hemopneumothorax. This was due to an active fixation lead that perforated the right atrial wall and injured the adjacent lung parenchyma. The hemothorax was drained thoracoscopically, and the atrial injury was covered with fibrin glue.