Outcomes and Complications of Lead Removal: Can We Establish a Risk Stratification Schema for a Collaborative and Effective Approach?

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Abstract

Background:

Removal of an entire cardiovascular implantable electronic device is associated with morbidity and mortality. We sought to establish a risk classification scheme according to the outcomes of transvenous lead removal in a single center, with the goal of using that scheme to guide electrophysiology lab versus operating room extraction.

Methods:

Consecutive patients undergoing transvenous lead removal from January 2001 to October 2012 at Mayo Clinic were retrospectively reviewed.

Results:

A total of 1,378 leads were removed from 652 (age 64 ± 17 years, M 68%) patients undergoing 702 procedures. Mean (standard deviation) lead age was 57.6 (58.8) months. Forty-four percent of leads required laser-assisted extraction. Lead duration (P < 0.001) and an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) lead (P < 0.001) were associated with the need for laser extraction and procedure failure (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.02). The major complication rate was 1.9% and was significantly associated with longer lead duration (odds ratio: 1.2, 95% confidence interval: 1.1–1.3; P < 0.001). High-risk patients (with a >10-year-old pacing or a >5-year-old ICD lead) had significantly higher major events than moderate-risk (with pacing lead 1–10 years old or ICD lead 1–5 years old) and low-risk (any lead ≤1-year-old) patients (5.3%, 1.2%, and 0%, respectively; P < 0.001).

Conclusions:

Transvenous lead removal is highly successful, with few serious procedural complications. We propose a risk stratification scheme that may categorize patients as low, moderate, and high risk for lead extraction. Such a strategy may guide which extractions are best performed in the operating room.

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