Noise on ventricular lead


I had my annual pacemaker check in February. I have a dual chamber pacemaker for Sick Sinus Syndrome. I don’t take any medication.

They picked up noise on my ventricular lead at the check and concluded it isn’t working properly. 

I was there about an hour while three of the cardiac technicians debated what to do. They concluded they were trying to keep it going and fix it as best they can.

I was to see the Consultant mid April... no idea why, then see the technicians again in a month to see if the changes had helped.

Today the Consultant rang out of the blue. He said he wanted to chat about the lead problem. He asked if I’d had any problems. I mentioned my running speed had become slower and slower in the past few weeks for no apparent reason and that I can’t get a full breath when I run. I have to stop my run every couple of minutes to take as deep a breath as I can. I also get the same breathing difficulty when I’m at rest.

He seemed to think it wasn’t related to the pacemaker lead issue but wants me to have an Echo scan to check heart structure as I haven’t had one for years. 

I’m so confused now. I don’t know what’s wrong or if anything’s wrong and what it is or what’s causing it or what will they do about it.

Has anyone any better knowledge than me, maybe could shed some light on it all?

Very much appreciated






by AgentX86 - 2020-03-24 19:36:15

Yeah, it sounds like your RV lead has fractured.  It's still works, sorta, but it's on its way out.  They're trying to compensate for it but they'll probably have to replace it, particularly since you're having problems (why, I'm not quite sure).  That's what you have specialists for.


Lead problems

by Selwyn - 2020-03-25 08:25:25


I have a poor functioning ventricular lead. How they know is that the impedence goes up and it needs more electricity to function. This results in an additional drain on the battery. I am on 4 monthly checks as my battery life is dependent on how much I need to use the ventricular lead. 

So, a partial fracture in a lead may be overcome by increasing the current through the lead, therebye overcoming the resistance, and delivering to the heart the required current to cause a heart beat.  This is a drain on the battery. Provided your lead is giving out enough current to your heart, your heart should be functioning 'normally' for yourself.

My consultant thinks that he will keep the duff ventricular lead as I only need this 1% of the time ( an important 1% though!), when I next have a PM change. 

Given your symptoms at rest and on exercise, an echocardiogram is a good idea. If your pacemaker is delivering via your lead sufficient current to cause a heart beat, your problem lies elsewhere. As to what or where? There is a whole library full of cardiological problems. 

Sit tight and get investigated. I have some symtpoms that are very similar  and am also waiting for another echocardiogram. We will see...


by Kippers - 2020-03-25 17:41:48

Thank you so much for your replies. Has helped making sense of it all. I guess I kind of stupidly thought any issues with my heart would always be pacemaker related, didn’t want to think it could be something else. 


by Tracey_E - 2020-03-27 17:38:15

I had noise on a lead when the insulation ruptured. They cranked it up to get the signal through and the battery depleted faster than it would have otherwise but it kept working right up until the day it was replaced, which was more than 5 years later. It's good that they want to do an echo to make sure nothing else is going on, but noise on a lead happens as leads age. 


by Patrick Shawn - 2020-04-26 16:42:05

How often do leads need replaced? I read that it's a dangerous undertaking to replace leads. I thought the newer leads lasted longer? What causes lead failure?

All this stuff has me nervous. I am just 2 months into the pacemaker.

You know you're wired when...

You play MP3 files on your pacer.

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