Vol 25, No 2 (2018)
Original articles — Clinical cardiology
Published online: 2017-08-24

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Occurrence and extraction of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator leads with conductor externalization

Aleksander Maciąg, Paweł Syska, Maciej Sterliński, Agnieszka Kołodzińska, Artur Oręziak, Krzysztof Kuśmierski, Marta Marciniak-Emmons, Andrzej Przybylski, Łukasz Szumowski, Grzegorz Opolski, Hanna Szwed,
Pubmed: 28840589
Cardiol J 2018;25(2):221-228.


   Background: The increasing number of patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD) contributes to the rising number of patients qualifying for a transvenous lead extraction (TLE) due to infection, vascular or lead failure related indications. The purpose of this study was to perform a retrospective analysis of the occurrence of conductor externalization in TLE patients and to assess the success rate in the extraction of these leads. Methods: TLE procedure was performed between 2012 and 2014 of 428 electrodes in 259 patients. Out of these, 143 (33.4%) leads in 138 (52.9%) patients were ICD leads. The indications for the TLE in ICD patients were: infection in 37 patients, lead failure in 84 patients, and others in 17 patients. Conductor externalization was observed in 8 ICD leads (5.6%) in 8 (5.8%) patients. The mean dwell­ing time for externalized leads was 87.9 (55 to 132) months compared to 60.1 (3 to 246) months of the remaining 135 ICD leads (p = 0.0329). All externalized leads were successfully and completely extracted using device traction, mechanical telescopic sheaths and/or autorotational cutting sheaths. No complica­tions of lead extraction procedures were observed in 8 patients with externalization. Results: Patients with lead externalization were often in a better New York Heart Association func­tional class (I or II) compared to those in the rest of the study group (p = 0.0212). Conclusions: Conductor externalization is a rare finding in patients undergoing TLE. This occurs with different manufacturers and lead types. In this complication transvenous lead extraction with the mechanical extraction tools can be safely performed.  

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