Initial experience with the TightRail™ Rotating Mechanical Dilator Sheath for transvenous lead extraction

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In parallel with increasing implantation rates and patients' longer life expectancy, the need for transvenous lead extraction (TLE) as a specialized procedure has shown a significant growth over years. Herein, we aimed to present our initial experience in TLE by using a novel TightRail™ Rotating Mechanical Dilator Sheath.

Methods and results

Between October 2014 and March 2015, a total of 42 leads in 23 patients were removed at our tertiary referral centre. All of the extracted leads were >12 months old and indications for extraction were based on the recommendations of the Heart Rhythm Society. The leads were removed by using the TightRail™ Mechanical Dilator Sheath (Spectranetics Corporation) with the rotational cutting force only. Indications for lead removal included cardiac device infection in 12 (52.2%) cases, lead malfunction in the 10 (43.5%) cases, and upgrade to cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator (CRT-D) in the remaining 1 case (4.3%). The extracted devices were pacemaker in 10 (43.4%) cases, implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) in 7 (30.4%) cases, and CRT in the remaining 6 (26.0%) subjects. Among 42 leads, 10 (23.8%) were right ventricular, 14 (33.3%) were atrial, 13 (31.0%) were defibrilator, and 5 (11.9%) were coronary sinus electrodes. The median time from implantation was 72 (18–216) months. Complete procedural success with TightRail™ system alone was achieved in 22 (95.7%) patients (41/42 leads) and overall clinical success was 100%. One right ventricular lead was completely removed with the help of femoral snare. All the patients were discharged uneventfully without any complication.


Our preliminary data with small sample size show that TightRail™ Mechanical Dilator Sheath is a new useful tool for chronically implanted pacemaker (PM)/ICD leads. Continued investigation including large patient cohort is required to evaluate success and complication rates in comparison to other tools and techniques.

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