Transvenous lead extraction in 1000 patients guided by intraprocedural risk stratification without surgical backup

  • Ziad F. Issa
    Address reprint requests and correspondence: Dr Ziad F. Issa, Division of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Prairie Heart Institute, 619 E Mason St, Springfield, IL 62701.
    Division of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Prairie Heart Institute, Springfield, Illinois
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      Transvenous lead extraction (TLE) carries a significant risk of morbidity and mortality. Reliable preprocedural risk predictors to guide resource allocation and optimize procedural safety are lacking.


      The aim of this study was to evaluate an intraprocedural approach to risk stratification during elective TLE procedures.


      This is a single-center retrospective study of consecutive patients who underwent elective TLE of a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator lead for noninfectious indications. The risk of TLE is judged intraprocedurally only after an attempt is made to extract the target lead as long as high-risk extraction techniques are avoided. TLE was performed in a well-equipped electrophysiology laboratory with rescue strategies in place but in the absence of surgical staff.


      During the study period, 1000 patients were included in this analysis (527 female (52.7%); mean age 61.5 ± 10.2 years). TLE was attempted for 1362 leads, with a mean lead dwell time of 73 ± 43 months (median 70 months; interquartile range 12–180 months). TLE was successful in 914 patients, partially successful in 10, and failed in 76 patients. A laser sheath was required for extraction of 926 leads (68%). Only 1 patient developed intraprocedural cardiac tamponade requiring emergency pericardiocentesis. None of the patients developed hemothorax or required surgical intervention.


      At experienced centers, intraprocedural risk stratification for TLE that avoids high-risk extraction techniques achieved successful TLE in the majority of patients and can potentially help optimize the balance between efficacy, safety, and efficiency in lead extraction.


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