Cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) are devices used to correct abnormal heart rhythms and include pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). The ionising radiation used during radiation therapy can cause CIEDs to malfunction which can be life threatening for patients.

Health professionals play an important role in ensuring that patients with CIEDs safely receive radiation therapy through preventing or managing the risk of CIED malfunction.

By the end of this rapid learning you will be able to:

  • differentiate between a pacemaker and an ICD
  • differentiate between patients that are pacemaker dependent and non-dependent
  • describe potential CIED malfunctions
  • recognise when and how to assess a patient’s risk of CIED malfunction
  • identify radiation therapy planning considerations to minimise the risk of CIED malfunction
  • determine the appropriate management (including monitoring requirements) of patients with a CIED.

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Practical resources

The following resources and information can assist you in caring for patients with CIEDs:

Additional resources

For more in-depth information see the eviQ clinical resource Cardiac implantation electronic device management during radiation therapy.



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