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Disproportionality analysis for signal detection of implantable cardioverter–defibrillator-related adverse events in the Food and Drug Administration Medical Device Reporting System


H. J. Duggirala, Division of Epidemiology, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave, WO66-4208, Silver Spring, MD 20993, USA. E-mail:



The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) became aware of lead fracture and inappropriate shock events related to Sprint Fidelis leads in January 2007. The manufacturer announced a voluntary market withdrawal in October 2007.


Our aim was to retrospectively evaluate this safety signal using disproportionality analysis to estimate whether disproportionality analysis could have detected this particular safety signal earlier than actually occurred.

Materials and Methods

The Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience (MAUDE) database contains reports on device-related adverse events, of which, FDA receives several hundred thousand every year. For each manufacturer, a list of the top lead brand names was ranked by frequency of reports. We used the Multi-item Gamma Poisson Shrinker (MGPS) method for analysis. We isolated 11 top-reported implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) lead brand names. Using MGPS methodology, we calculated the one-sided 95% lower confidence bound EB05 on the empirical Bayes geometric mean of the reporting ratio.


We performed individual MGPS analysis for each of the top reported adverse events in 2006 for ICD leads. Fidelis had the highest EB05 scores for lead fractures and inappropriate shock.


Through disproportionality analysis of the MAUDE database, we were able to identify known safety signals associated with the Medtronic Sprint Fidelis lead.


If utilized at the time, this disproportionality analysis would have identified signals earlier for lead fractures, oversensing, high impedance, and inappropriate shock. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.