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Keywords:

  • pacemaker;
  • implantable defibrillator;
  • lead;
  • extraction;
  • infection

Background

Many techniques for the endovascular retrieval of lost or misplaced foreign objects have been developed, and the removal of almost every foreign object has become possible. In this paper, we report our experience in retrieving foreign objects lost during cardiac device implantations or previous extraction procedures.

Methods

This study was a retrospective analysis of the case records of all patients referred to our institution for transvenous retrieval of intravascular foreign objects.

Results

Over 10 years, 45 consecutive patients underwent procedures for the retrieval of intravascular foreign objects. These objects were: 25 distal portions of introducer sheaths, 18 pacing lead fragments, one guidewire, and one anchoring sleeve. The majority of fragments were located in the right ventricle and subclavian and caval veins. Some had migrated to the pulmonary artery or more distally. The median dwell time of the fragments was 3 months. Retrieval was most frequently achieved through the femoral veins, and was successful in 42 (93%) procedures. No procedure-related complications occurred in this series.

Conclusions

In the present single-center experience, the endovascular approach to retrieving intravascular objects lost during cardiac device implantation or previous extraction procedures seemed effective with currently available tools and was associated with no complications.