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Cardiac Venous Left Ventricular Lead Removal and Reimplantation Following Device Infection: A Large Single-Center Experience


  • Dr. Martin reports travel support for a lecture from St. Jude Medical; he serves on the advisory board of Medtronic. Dr. Wilkoff serves without compensation on the advisory board of Spectranetics. Other authors: No disclosures.

Author for correspondence: John Rickard, M.D., 9500 Euclid Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44122, USA. Fax: +216-445-6161; E-mail:


LV Lead Extraction and Reimplantation. Background: Early series of biventricular device removal have contained mostly younger cardiac venous (CV) left ventricular leads and few have reported on rates of successful reimplantation.

Methods and Results: We performed a retrospective analysis of all patients referred to the Cleveland Clinic between February 2, 2001 and July 27, 2011 for removal of a biventricular device with a CV pacing lead for an infectious indication. A total of 173 patients were included. The median age of the CV leads was 22.3 months (interquartile range: 5.2–46.3 months). The complete procedural success rate for all leads was 97.7%, with the remaining 2.3% clinical successes. A total of 76.9% of CV leads were removed using simple traction alone with the remaining leads requiring the use of a laser-powered sheath. A total of 3.5% of leads required intervention (manual dissection or laser-powered dissection) within the coronary sinus (CS). Major complications occurred in 1.2% of patients. Minor complications occurred in 7.5% of patients, the majority of which were hematomas requiring drainage (6.9%). CV lead reimplantation was attempted in 107 patients of which 88 (82.8%) were successful.

Conclusion: CV lead removal in patients with an infected biventricular device is associated with an extremely high procedural success rate and a low incidence of major complications. The use of a laser-powered sheath is necessary in roughly one-quarter of cases with a very small percentage requiring intervention within the CS. Reimplantation of CV leads is achievable in roughly 83% of patients, a figure lower than nationally quoted estimates for de novo implantations. (J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol, Vol. 23, pp. 1213–1216, November 2012)