Changing Indications for Pacemakers in Children

William H. Fleming, Lynne B. Sarafian, John D. Kugler, Philip J. Hofschire, Edward B. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Permanent pacemakers were implanted in 50 children. Indications were symptomatic sinus node dysfunction in 34 (68%), surgical block in 9 (18%), and congenital block in 7 (14%). Twenty-three (68%) of the 34 children with sinus node dysfunction had undergone prior cardiac operations. Only 4 of the 50 patients (8%) had electrode problems after a mean pacing time of 29.5 months (range, 1 to 96 months). All 35 of the mercury-cell pulse generators used in 28 patients ceased to function after an average useful life of 20.8 months (range, 1 to 51 months). The lithium-powered units in the 45 survivors all show satisfactory pacing after 5 to 44 months (mean, 28.1 months). With improved pacemaker technology, longer survival after complex repairs, and better monitoring techniques, the indications for cardiac pacing in children have broadened. Surgical block now is an indication in only a small fraction of the pediatric pacemaker population. Sinus node dysfunction accounts for an ever-increasing majority of the pacemakers we currently implant in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-333
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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