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Percutaneous Lead and System Extraction in Patients with Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) Devices and Coronary Sinus Leads


  • Disclosures: Anoop Shetty and Aruna Arujuna are supported by an educational grant from St Jude Medical. C. Aldo Rinaldi has consultancy agreements with St. Jude Medical, Medtronic, and Spectranetics.

Address for reprints: SE Williams, M.D., Department of Cardiology, Cardiovascular Division, Rayne Institute, St Thomas’ Hospital, London, SE1 7EH. Fax: 00-44-20-7188 1011; e-mail:


Background:Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device and coronary sinus (CS) lead extraction is required due to the occurrence of system infection, malfunction, or upgrade. Published series of CS lead extraction are limited by small sample sizes. We present a 10-year experience of CRT device and CS lead extraction.

Methods:All lead extractions between 2000 and 2010 were entered into a computer database. From these, a cohort of 71 cases involving a CRT device or CS lead was analyzed for procedural method, success, and complications.

Results:Sixty coronary sinus leads were extracted in 71 cases (median age 71 years; 90% male) by manual traction/locking stylets (n = 54) or using a laser sheath (n = 6). Procedural success was achieved in 98% of CS leads. A total of 143 non-CS leads were extracted, with laser required in 46% of cases. The mean duration of lead implantation was 35.8 months (range 1–116 months) and 2.86 ± 1.07 leads were extracted per case. CRT extraction case load increased significantly over time. Minor complications occurred in four (5.6%) cases and major complications in one (1.4%) case. There were no intraprocedural deaths, but two deaths occurred within 30 days of extraction.

Conclusions:Our 10-year experience confirms that percutaneous removal of CS leads can be achieved with high procedural success. Our recorded complication rates are no higher than those of non-CS lead extraction series, and should be taken in the context of the frail nature of CRT patients. Ongoing audit of procedure success and complications will be required to further guide best practice in CS lead extraction. (PACE 2011; 34:1209–1216)

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