Taser-Induced Rapid Ventricular Myocardial Capture Demonstrated by Pacemaker Intracardiac Electrograms



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 19, Issue 9, 1008, Article first published online: 28 August 2008

  • Mr. Gillberg is an employee of Medtronic Inc. Dr. Saxon is a consultant for Guidant Corporation and Medtronic Inc.

  • Manuscript received 14 February 2007; Revised manuscript received 27 April 2007; Accepted for publication 2 May 2007.

Address for correspondence: Leslie A. Saxon, M.D., Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1510 San Pablo St #322 North, HCC I, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA. Fax: 323-442-6133; E-mail: saxon@usc.edu


Introduction: A Taser weapon is designed to incapacitate violent individuals by causing temporary neuromuscular paralysis due to current application. We report the first case of a Taser application in a person with a dual-chamber pacemaker demonstrating evidence of Taser-induced myocardial capture.

Methods and Results: Device interrogation was performed in a 53-year-old man with a dual-chamber pacemaker who had received a Taser shot consisting of two barbs delivered simultaneously. Assessment of pacemaker function after Taser application demonstrated normal sensing, pacing thresholds, and lead impedances. Stored event data revealed two high ventricular rate episodes corresponding to the exact time of the Taser application.

Conclusions: This report describes the first human case of ventricular myocardial capture at a rapid rate resulting from a Taser application. This raises the issue as to whether conducted energy devices can cause primary myocardial capture or capture only in association with cardiac devices providing a preferential pathway of conduction to the myocardium.