A pacemaker magnet check alone is sufficient for the majority of patients postpacemaker implant.
Jones MA., Wong KCK., Qureshi N., Rajappan K., Bashir Y., Betts TR.
BACKGROUND: Patients postpacemaker implant can undergo a full assessment by pacing system programmer (PSP) or a magnet check. The former takes longer, but provides more detailed information; a magnet-mode assessment is faster, but provides only capture data in an asynchronous pacing mode. A magnet-mode assessment alone may be sufficient in most cases, and current clinical practice varies considerably. METHODS: A retrospective single-center assessment of all pacemaker implants receiving PSP and magnet checks between September 2009 and April 2010. Patient records were reviewed. The results of PSP and magnet checks and any subsequent device-related management were noted. RESULTS: A total of 168 patients underwent pacemaker implantation, magnet-mode assessment, and then PSP interrogation during this period. Magnet-mode assessment revealed a problem in only one patient-failure of atrial capture, leading to subsequent atrial lead repositioning. None of the remaining 167 patients have a serious problem at PSP interrogation; six had minor issues at PSP check, none of which required repeat surgical intervention. CONCLUSIONS: The magnet-mode test only provides information on lead capture in an asynchronous pacing mode, which is the most essential data postoperatively. Our study has suggested that a magnet-mode assessment without PSP interrogation may be sufficient in the immediate postimplant assessment of these patients. Routine postimplant PSP interrogation is time consuming, labor intensive, and adds only minimal additional benefit to the safe management of these patients above and beyond a magnet check, coupled with informed assessment of the associated electrocardiogram/rhythm strip, clinical examination, and chest x-ray.