Isoline implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) leads - risk of inappropriate shocking, pacing inhibition or shocking inhibition

(Hospira) Due to insulation abrasion. (MDA/2013/007)

CAS deadlines

Action underway: 7 March 2013, action complete: 21 March 2013

Note: These deadlines are for systems to be in place to take actions and not for the completion of patient follow-up and testing.


Isoline implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) leads.

All models: 2CR5, 2CR6 and 2CT6.

Manufactured by Sorin Group Italia Srl.


Risk of inappropriate shocking, pacing inhibition or shocking inhibition due to internal insulation abrasion.

Sorin has identified abrasion of internal silicone insulation in 30 returned Isoline leads. This equates to 0.2% of worldwide sales since product launch in 2005. However, the proportion is expected to rise, partly as a result of closer patient follow-up subsequent to this field action. Only one of these incidents occurred in the UK out of approximately 380 leads distributed and none of the incidents was fatal. These incidents typically presented as inappropriate shocks and low pacing impedance, as well as ventricular oversensing where pacing was inhibited. Affected leads were implanted for between 2 months and 4.5 years prior to failure.

Analysis of returned leads revealed insulation abrasion, where the microcables contained within the defibrillator coil were not directly covered with ETFE polymer coating. This abrasion occurred predominantly under the right ventricular electrode, but also under the superior vena cava electrode, when torsion or compression of the lead had occurred.  For electrical malfunction to occur, the microcable must abrade towards, and make contact with, the pacing-sensing conductor. Microcable abrasions occur within the defibrillator coil and cannot be detected by X-ray imaging.

Sorin has suspended distribution of all models of the Isoline lead and is recalling all un-implanted stock. The company communicated this to all its customers in an ‘Field Safety Notice (67Kb)’ issued on 28 January 2013.


  • Do not implant any Isoline ICD leads.
  • Identify and return to Sorin any of these leads which have not been implanted.
  • Identify all patients implanted with affected models and arrange a follow-up as soon as practicable (within three months).
  • Ensure programming parameters are set to maximise the chance of detecting lead issues and avoiding inappropriate therapy, in accordance with advice in the manufacturer’s Field Safety Notice (67Kb).
  • Remind patients of the importance of contacting their follow-up clinic as soon as possible in the event of therapy delivery and/or the onset of any patient alert.
  • Follow up patients at three-monthly intervals.
  • At pulse generator replacement, if a decision is made to continue to use the lead, ensure that the replacement generator has remote/advanced monitoring capabilities.
  • If there is evidence of a problem with a lead, the risks and benefits of lead replacement should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in discussion with the patient.

Note: Prophylactic lead explantation is not recommended, other than in exceptional clinical circumstances.

Action by

All cardiologists and cardiac physiologists who manage patients implanted with these ICD leads.


This MDA has been sent to:

  • NHS trusts in England (chief executives)
  • Care Quality Commission (CQC) (headquarters) for information
  • HSC trusts in Northern Ireland (chief executives)
  • NHS boards in Scotland (equipment coordinators)
  • NHS boards and trusts in Wales (chief executives)

Onward distribution

Please bring this notice to the attention of relevant employees in your establishment.  Below is a suggested list of recipients.  

CAS and SABS (NI) liaison officers for onward distribution to all relevant staff including:

  • Cardiac laboratory technicians
  • Cardiac pacing technicians
  • Cardiac physiologists
  • Cardiologists
  • Cardiothoracic surgeons
  • Clinical governance leads
  • Medical directors
  • Nursing executive directors

Independent distribution

Establishments registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) (England only)
This alert should be read by:

  • Hospitals in the independent sector
  • Private medical practitioners

Please note: CQC and OFSTED do not distribute these alerts. Independent healthcare providers and social care providers can sign up to receive MDAs directly from the Department of Health’s Central Alerting System (CAS) by sending an email to: and requesting this facility.

Manufacturer contact

Sorin Group Italia Srl
David Thierman
Via Crescentino s.n.
Saluggia, 13040

Tel: +39 0161 487 077           
Fax: +39 0161 487 884     



If you have any comments or feedback on this Medical Device Alert please email us at:


If you are in England, please send enquiries about this notice to the MHRA, quoting reference number MDA/2013/007 or 2013/001/029/081/032

Technical aspects

Michelle Kelly or Simon Holmes
Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency          
Floor 4
151 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 9SZ

Tel:    020 3080 7145 or 7240
Fax:   020 8754 3965

Email: or

Clinical aspects

Dr Nicola Lennard
Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
Floor 4
151 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 9SZ

Tel:    020 3080 7126
Fax:   020 8754 3965


How to report adverse incidents

Please report via our website: Reporting adverse incidents involving medical devices

Further information about CAS can be found on the CAS website

Northern Ireland

Alerts in Northern Ireland will continue to be distributed via the NI SABS system.

Enquiries and adverse incident reports in Northern Ireland should be addressed to:

Northern Ireland Adverse Incident Centre
Health Estates Investment Group
Room 17
Annex 6
Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Dundonald BT4 3SQ

Tel: 02890 523 704
Fax: 02890 523 900


How to report adverse incidents in Northern Ireland

Please report directly to NIAIC, further information can be found on the NIAIC website

Further information about SABS can be found on the SABS website


Enquiries and adverse incident reports in Scotland should be addressed to:

Incident Reporting and Investigation Centre
Health Facilities Scotland
NHS National Services Scotland
Gyle Square
1 South Gyle Crescent
Edinburgh EH12 9EB

Tel: 0131 275 7575
Fax: 0131 314 0722


Health Facilities Scotland Incident Reporting and Investigation Centre (IRIC)Health Facilities Scotland Incident Reporting and Investigation Centre (IRIC)


Enquiries in Wales should be addressed to:

Improving Patient Safety Team
Medical Directorate
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NQ

Tel: 029 2082 3922


Download documents

Medical Device Alert: Isoline implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) leads manufactured by Sorin Group Italia Srl (MDA/2013/007) (51Kb)

Published 17 December 2014