The use of a wearable cardioverter defibrillator during postmastectomy radiotherapy as an alternative for relocation of the pulse generator

Phil W. Koken*, Desirée H. J. G. van den Bongard, Kirsten M. Kooiman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: We describe a case in which a breast cancer patient with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) was treated with postmastectomy followed by axillary radiation therapy. The ICD was partly within the target volume and according to the treatment planning system would receive a maximum dose of about 36 Gy. Methods and Materials: Postoperatively, the patient had a wound infection needing surgical intervention and 3 months of antibiotics. Therefore, it was decided not to relocate the ICD but instead to switch off the shock function of the ICD for the entire radiation therapy course. Results: The ICD was successfully substituted with a wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD), which the patient wore during the 3-week radiation therapy period until 2 weeks after the end of treatment. The ICD function was monitored from the start of the treatment until 6 months after treatment. Conclusions: In situations in which an ICD needs to be switched off semipermanently, a WCD can be used as alternative. The patient in this report tolerated the WCD well. Despite the high dose received by the ICD, the device and its battery continued to function normally.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101225
JournalAdvances in Radiation Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023

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