Incidence, predictors, and outcomes associated with pneumothorax during cardiac electronic device implantation: A 16-year review in over 3.7 million patients

Gbolahan O. Ogunbayo, Richard Charnigo, Yousef Darrat, Gustavo Morales, John Kotter, Odunayo Olorunfemi, Ayman Elbadawi, Vincent L. Sorrell, Susan S. Smyth, Claude S. Elayi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background Pneumothorax (PTX) is a potential complication of vascular access during cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) procedures and is being scrutinized as a health care–acquired condition. Objective The purpose of this study was to determine the trends in PTX incidence in the United Stated over a 16-year period and to determine whether PTX is associated with increased mortality after adjustment for other factors. Methods Using weighted sampling in the largest inpatient health database in the United States (National Inpatient Sample), we evaluated data from patients with a primary procedure of CIED implantation from 1998 to 2013 who had at least 1 new vascular access (new or upgrade of prior CIED). The unadjusted and adjusted associations of PTX with mortality and other parameters were examined. Results Among 3,764,703 CIED procedures, PTX occurred in 47,839 cases (1.3%). The apparent incidence of PTX peaked at 1.6% in 2012 and 2013, although this result may have been affected by a concomitant decrease of inpatient (vs outpatient) CIED. PTX was significantly associated with pulmonary complications, chest tube insertion, length of stay, and costs. Mortality was statistically higher in patients with PTX (1.2% vs 0.7%; P <.001), a relationship that remained significant in a multivariate logistic regression analysis (odds ratio 1.50, 95% confidence interval 1.36–1.65; P <.001). Age >80 years, female gender, Caucasian race, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and dual-chamber (vs single-chamber) device were all associated with higher odds for PTX occurrence. Placement of a chest tube was a major determinant of worse outcomes and higher costs. Conclusion PTX remains an important complication of CIED procedures and is associated with increased morbidity, mortality, and costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1764-1770
Number of pages7
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Heart Rhythm Society


  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy
  • Chest tube
  • Complications
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
  • Length of stay
  • Mortality
  • Outcomes
  • Pacemaker
  • Pneumothorax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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