Predictors of Advanced Lead Extraction Based on a Systematic Stepwise Approach: Results from a High Volume Center

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Lead extraction (LE) techniques have evolved from simple traction to extraction with dilators and powered sheaths with very high success rates. On the basis of the systematic implementation of a stepwise approach, we aimed to identify those characteristics that can predict the need for advanced LE techniques.


Between April 2005 and March 2012, 208 consecutive LE procedures were performed and 456 leads were extracted using an initial superior approach. Advanced techniques for LE (step 4 according to our stepwise approach) were used in 122 patients (58.7%).


Younger patient age (odds ratio [OR] = 0.963, P = 0.002), longer duration of the initial implantation (OR = 1.013, P = 0.002), the number of extracted leads (OR = 2.184, P < 0.001), and the presence of right ventricular defibrillator leads (OR = 2.144, P = 0.049) independently predicted the necessity of using step 4 in multivariate analysis. A prediction tool was created taking into account four categorical variables derived even from Receiver Operating Curve analysis of quantitative characteristics (age < 70.7 years, implant duration > 37 months, extraction of at least two leads, one of them being a defibrillator lead). The absence of all the four characteristics was accompanied by 0% positive predictive value for the requirement of step 4 for LE, whereas the coexistence of all four risk factors is characterized by 87% requirement of advanced LE.


In most of the patients with indication for LE, use of a powered sheath extraction is necessary in order to obtain clinical success. We have identified four patient and lead characteristics that may help the operator plan the means of extraction.

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