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The Evolution of the Cardiac Implantable Electronic Device Connector


  • Disclosures:

  • Harry G. Mond: No disclosures.

  • John R. Helland and Avi Fischer: Full time employees of St. Jude Medical, IESD.

  • John R. Helland: Engineer participant in the AAMI Connector Task Force for the IS-1, the DF-1, and the DF4/IS4 lead connector standard efforts.


Cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) play a vital role in the management of cardiac rhythm disturbances. The devices are comprised of two primary components: a generator and lead joined by a connector. Original pacemaker lead connectors were created de novo at the time of implantation or replacement and were very unreliable. With the development of new lead designs, creation of a standard connector configuration, the IS-1 connector became mandatory. Similar connector development also occurred with the advent of the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), resulting in creation of the high voltage standard: the DF-1 connector. Differing from a pacemaker lead, the ICD lead connector requires one IS-1 connector and one or two DF-1 connectors, resulting in a large cumbersome lead connector and generator header block. Recently, a revolutionary quad pole single plug connector standard has been approved for market release. These are the single-pin DF4 and IS4 lead connectors that carry low- and high-voltage poles or all low-voltage poles, respectively. These connectors, together with new labeling guidelines, have simplified operative procedures and reduced errors, when mating lead connectors into the generator's connector block.