Variousmechanisms and clinical phenotypes in electrical short circuits of high-voltage devices: Report of four cases and review of the literature

Takuo Tsurugi, Shogo Matsui, Hiroshi Nakajima, Nobuhiro Nishii, Toshihiro Honda, Yoshiaki Kaneko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Aims An electrical short circuit is a rare complication in a high-voltage implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). However, the inability of an ICD to deliver appropriate shock therapy can be life-threatening. Methods and results During the last 2 years, four cases of serious complications related to an electrical short circuit have been reported in Japan. A spark due to an electrical short circuit resulted in the failure of an ICD shock to terminate ventricular tachycardia and total damage to the ICD generator in three of four cases. Two of the four patients died from an electrical short circuit between the right ventricle and superior vena cava (SVC) leads. The others had audible sounds from the ICD generator site and were diagnosed with a lead-to-can abrasion, which was manifested by the arc mark on the surface of the can. Conclusion It is still difficult to predict the occurrence of an electrical short circuit in current ICD systems. To reduce the probability of an electrical short circuit, we suggest the following: (i) avoid lead stress at ICD implantation, (ii) select a single-coil lead instead of a dual-coil lead, or (iii) use a unique algorithm which automatically disconnect can or SVC lead from shock deliver circuit when excessive current was detected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-914
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • Arc mark
  • Electrical short circuit
  • ICD
  • Lead insulation failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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