One of the hazards of endocardial cardiac pacing is that the pacemaker lead may perforate the myocardial wall or interventricular septum although the incidence of such perforations is believed to be small. This paper describes what is believed to be a unique case in which a pacemaker lead perforated the atrial wall at implantation (or possibly shortly afterwards) and yet gave satisfactory right ventricular epicardial pacing for more than five years. The perforation was discovered during a routine postmortem examination but earlier lateral x-ray examinations would probably have identified the abnormal position of the electrodes. Moreover, the present implantation technique would not have allowed perforation of the atrial wall at implantation to go undetected.
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