Runaway pulse generator malfunction resulting from undetected battery depletion

Pugazhendhi Vijayaraman, Kedarnath Vaidya, Soo G. Kim, Jay N. Gross, Kevin J. Ferrick, Eugen Palma, Seymour Furman, John D. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Runaway pacemaker is an uncommon, potentially lethal circuit malfunction characterized by sudden onset of erratic pacing at rapid nonphysiological rates. Two patients with a single chamber pacemaker (Medtronic ST 8331 and 8419) presented with episodic dizziness. ECG revealed recurrent decrescendo amplitude episodes of runaway stimuli at 2,400 and 2,600 ppm, approximately 3 seconds in duration, separated by pacing at 62.5 and 65 ppm, respectively. Fortunately the runaway stimuli were subthreshold and did not result in capture of the ventricle. Emergency pulse generator replacement was uneventful. Both leads were normal and both pulse generators had low battery voltages at 1.488 and 1.78 V, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-222
Number of pages3
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Arrhythmia
  • Pacemaker malfunction
  • Runaway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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