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The formation of bronchocutaneous fistulae due to retained epicardial pacing wires: A literature review


1 Department of Cardiac Surgery, Evangelismos General Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece
2 Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
3 Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit, Evangelismos General Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece

Correspondence Address:
Nikolaos G Baikoussis
Department of Cardiac Surgery, Evangelismos General Hospital of Athens, 45-47 Ipsilantou Street, Kolonaki 10676 Athens
Greece
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-9784.191567

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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 683-686

 

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Temporary epicardial pacing wires during open-heart surgery are routinely used both for diagnostic and treatment purposes. In complicated cases where patients are unstable or the wires are difficult to remove, the pacing wires are cut at the skin level and allowed to retract by themselves. This procedure rarely causes complications. However, there have been cases reporting that retained pacing wires are linked to the formation of sterno-bronchial fistulae, which may present a while after the date of operation and are usually infected. This review aims to study the cases presenting sterno-bronchial fistulae due to retained epicardial pacing wires and to highlight the important factors associated with these. It is important to note these complications, as fistulae may cause a variety of problems to the patient if undiagnosed and left untreated. With the aid of scans such as fistulography, fistulae can be identified and treated and will improve the patients' health dramatically.






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1 Department of Cardiac Surgery, Evangelismos General Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece
2 Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
3 Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit, Evangelismos General Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece

Correspondence Address:
Nikolaos G Baikoussis
Department of Cardiac Surgery, Evangelismos General Hospital of Athens, 45-47 Ipsilantou Street, Kolonaki 10676 Athens
Greece
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-9784.191567

Rights and Permissions

Temporary epicardial pacing wires during open-heart surgery are routinely used both for diagnostic and treatment purposes. In complicated cases where patients are unstable or the wires are difficult to remove, the pacing wires are cut at the skin level and allowed to retract by themselves. This procedure rarely causes complications. However, there have been cases reporting that retained pacing wires are linked to the formation of sterno-bronchial fistulae, which may present a while after the date of operation and are usually infected. This review aims to study the cases presenting sterno-bronchial fistulae due to retained epicardial pacing wires and to highlight the important factors associated with these. It is important to note these complications, as fistulae may cause a variety of problems to the patient if undiagnosed and left untreated. With the aid of scans such as fistulography, fistulae can be identified and treated and will improve the patients' health dramatically.






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