Increased risk of hematoma with uninterrupted warfarin in patients undergoing implantation of subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator

Christopher Evenson, Basil Saour, Muhammad R. Afzal, Bradley Paul Knight, Toshimasa Okabe, Raul Weiss*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The perioperative management of anticoagulation with the use of subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (S-ICD) implantation is still evolving. Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess whether it is safe to perform S-ICD implantation with uninterrupted warfarin. Methods: This is a multi-center retrospective review of patients undergoing S-ICD implantation between October 1, 2012 and June 30, 2017. Forty-eight patients underwent successful S-ICD implantation during the study period. The most common indication for implantation was primary prevention of sudden cardiac death. In 23 (47.9%) patients, warfarin was continued without any interruption. In 25 (52.1%) patients, warfarin was interrupted prior to implantation. The incidence of clinically significant lateral pocket hematoma was compared in the two groups. Results: The mean international normalized ratio was 2.0 ± 0.4 in the uninterrupted group and 1.4 ± 0.4 for the interrupted group. A total of seven patients developed a hematoma at the lateral pocket. No patient developed a hematoma at the parasternal pockets. Six patients in the uninterrupted group (26.1%) and one patient in the interrupted group (0.04%) developed a significant lateral pocket hematoma (P =.04). The concomitant use of dual antiplatelet therapy did not increase the risk of hematoma. There was no significant difference between HASBLED and CHA2DS2VASc scores between the groups. None of the patients with a hematoma developed infection or required hematoma evacuation. Conclusions: The uninterrupted use of warfarin in the perioperative period of S-ICD implantation is associated with an increased risk of lateral pocket hematoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2019


  • anticoagulation
  • hematoma
  • lateral pocket
  • subcutaneous defibrillator
  • warfarin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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