Transvenous lead extraction at the time of cardiac implantable electronic device upgrade: Complexity, safety, and outcomes

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Barakat AF, Wazni OM, Tarakji K, Saliba WI, Nimri N, Rickard J, Brunner M, Bhargava M, Kanj M, Baranowski B, Martin DO, Cantillon D, Callahan T, Dresing T, Niebauer M, Chung M, Lindsay BD, Wilkoff B, Hussein AA.

Heart Rhythm. 2017 Aug 23. [Epub ahead of print]


Background: The practice of lead abandonment at the time of cardiac implantable electronic device upgrade remains a controversial topic but is affecting an increasing number of patients. Inherent risks include high-risk extractions of redundant leads when extraction is required at a later date.

Objectives: We aimed to report our experience with transvenous lead extraction (TLE) at the time of device upgrade.

Methods: All consecutive TLE procedures at the time of device upgrade at the Cleveland Clinic between 1996 and 2012 were included (n = 503). Success and complications were defined according to the Heart Rhythm Society consensus document on TLE.

Results: There were a total of 984 leads in place, and 719 were targeted with extraction (589 pacer and 130 defibrillator leads, 63 of them being dual-coil leads). In all patients, TLEs aimed to avoid abandoning leads. Concomitant lead management issues included lead malfunction (15%), previously abandoned leads (9%), vascular access occlusion (6%), or leads on advisory (3%). In most procedures (75.4%), special extraction tools were needed. The complete procedural and clinical success rates were 96.6% and 97.2%, respectively. During planned extractions, damage of coexisting leads occurred in 19 patients (3.8%), eventually requiring extraction. The major and minor complication rates were 1% and 1.4%, respectively.

Conclusion: In a high-volume center, TLEs at the time of device upgrade were successful in the vast majority of patients with a low complication rate.

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