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Heart Rhythm. 2011 Jul;8(7):1001-5. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2011.02.007. Epub 2011 Feb 9.

Extraction of transvenous leads in the operating room versus electrophysiology laboratory: a comparative study.

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Department of Cardiology, University Hospital La Timone, Marseilles, France.



Although risks and life-threatening complications associated with lead extraction are well characterized, practice patterns vary regarding whether procedures are performed in an operating room (OR) or electrophysiology (EP) laboratory with cardiothoracic surgical backup.


Our objective was to compare procedural outcomes and complications associated with lead extraction in the OR vs. EP laboratory.


Prospectively acquired data were pooled from 2 referral centers. Lead extraction procedures were performed between 2000 and 2010, encompassing a transition phase from the OR to EP laboratory. Analyses were conducted using generalized estimating equations.


A total of 1,364 leads (533 OR; 831 EP laboratory) were targeted in 684 consecutive procedures, 41.2% of which were in the OR. Laser sheaths and snares were used for 699 (51.2%) and 101 (7.4%) leads, respectively. Overall, 775 (93.1%) vs. 487 (91.4%) leads were completely extracted in the EP laboratory vs. OR [odds ratio 1.3, 95% confidence interval 0.9 to 2.1]. Complications occurred in 2.24% vs. 2.84%, respectively (P = .431). Two patients died because of superior vena caval lacerations (0.29%), 1 in each group. Rapid surgical intervention was helpful in 6 (0.9%) patients [4 OR (2 subclavian vein lacerations, 1 tricuspid valve laceration, 1 tamponade); 2 EP laboratory (tamponades)], with subsequently favorable outcomes. The only independent predictor of complications was older lead age [odds ratio 1.11 per year, 95% confidence interval 1.02 to 1.20].


Lead extraction in the EP laboratory with surgical backup is associated with a similarly low rate of complications and mortality as procedures performed in the OR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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