The implantable cardioverter-defibrillator: A potential hazard for autopsy pathologists

Joseph A. Prahlow, Joseph M. Guileyardo, Jeffrey J. Barnard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is an implantable electronic device that has been proven to be safe and effective in treating various malignant tachyarrhythmias in susceptible individuals. As the use of ICDs becomes more widespread, more individuals with the implanted devices will be encountered at autopsy. Manipulation of an activated ICD can result in electrical shock. To avoid injury, pathologists must be properly prepared to deal with bodies containing activated ICDs. These devices can also provide valuable information that may be helpful in determining the cause and mechanism of death. Herein, we present information regarding the appropriate guidelines and safeguards for pathologists confronted with an activated ICD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1076-1080
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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