Mechanisms, predictors, and trends of electrical failure of Riata leads

Jim W. Cheung*, Mohamed Al-Kazaz, George Thomas, Christopher F. Liu, James E. Ip, Seth R. Bender, Faisal K. Siddiqi, Steven M. Markowitz, Bruce B. Lerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background Riata and Riata ST implantable cardioverter-defibrillator leads have been shown to be prone to structural and electrical failure. Objective To determine predictors, mechanisms, and temporal patterns of Riata/ST lead electrical failure. Methods All 314 patients who underwent Riata/ST lead implantation at our institution with greater than or equal to 90 days of follow-up were studied. The Kaplan-Meier analysis of lead survival was performed. Results from the returned product analysis of explanted leads with electrical lead failure were recorded. Results During a median follow-up of 4.1 years, the Riata lead electrical failure rate was 6.6%. The rate of externalized conductors among failed leads was 57%. The engineering analysis of 10 explanted leads revealed 5 (50%) leads with electrical failure owing to breach of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene conductor coating. Female gender (hazard ratio 2.7; 95% confidence interval 1.1-6.7; P =.04) and age (hazard ratio 0.95; 95% confidence interval 0.92-0.97; P <.001) were multivariate predictors of lead failure. By using log-log analysis, we noted that the rate of Riata lead failure initially increased exponentially with a power of 2.1 but leads surviving past 4 years had a linear pattern of lead failure with a power of 1.0. Conclusions Younger age and female gender are independent predictors of Riata lead failure. Loss of integrity of conductor cables with ethylene tetrafluoroethylene coating is an important mode of electrical failure of the Riata lead. Further study of Riata lead failure trends is warranted to guide lead management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1453-1459
Number of pages7
JournalHeart rhythm
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Failure rate
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
  • Leadfailure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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