Indexed on: 30 May '08Published on: 30 May '08Published in: Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
The emergence of pacing and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) systems, along with expanding indications of these devices (e.g., cardiac resynchronization therapy and sudden cardiac death prevention), increasing infection rates, and device recalls have created the need for removing and upgrading these systems due to various reasons. Removing the pulse generator of a system is generally uncomplicated. Chronically implanted transvenous leads, however, adhere to the venous endothelium and endocardial tissues over time due to fibrosis. Removal of such leads can be a significantly complex procedure requiring tools and techniques that free the lead at fibrotic binding sites. In this article, the state-of-the-art tools and techniques that provide a systematic approach to consistently and safely extract these devices will be reviewed.