Implications and outcome of permanent coronary sinus lead extraction and reimplantation

Martin C. Burke*, Joseph Morton, Albert C. Lin, Sean Tierney, Aseem Desai, Thomas Hong, Susan Kim, Yasser Salem, Michael Alberts, Bradley P. Knight

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Objective: We examined the implications and outcome of coronary sinus (CS) lead removal including the feasibility of laser use within the CS. Background: Cardiac anatomy and lead interactions are more complex with the advent of biventricular pacemakers and atrial cardioverters requiring permanent lead/shocking coil placement in the coronary sinus and its branches. Methods: Fifty-five permanent cardiac leads were extracted during 2003 in 28 consecutive patients. Our study population included a 10/55 (18%) subset (all males; age 73 ± 6 years; EF = 0.24 ±0.09) that underwent CS (1/10) or vein branch (9/10) lead extraction. Leads were extracted with an excimer laser sheath (n = 4) or by direct traction (n = 6). Median times between implantation and lead removal were 9.5 months (range 5-59) in the laser group and 3 months (range 3-4) in the direct traction group. Indication for extraction was infection (n = 4), dislodgement (n = 3), diaphragm stimulation (n = 2), and elevated threshold (n = T). The CS was divided into distal, mid, and proximal segments by venogram.Aesiito: Entry of the laser sheath into the CS was necessary in three of four laser patients. The two distal CS laser cases (left lateral CS coil and anterior-lateral left ventricular (LV) lead) required both 14- and 12-Fr sheaths, separately. The proximal CS laser case (posterior-lateral LV lead) required a 12 Fr sheath. The remaining laser patient required a 12-Fr sheath to pass to the mid SVC. There were no procedural complications as a result of CS lead extraction. Reimplantation of a CS lead was attempted in 7/10 patients at a median of 4 days (range 1-300). CS venograms were available for review in patients before initial implantation (6/10) and after extraction (7/10). The postextraction venograms demonstrated complete occlusion of the vein from which the lead was extracted, and its distal branches, which were unusable in 5/10 (50%). The vein occlusions were present in patients with indwelling leads for greater than 3 months and were independent of extraction method. Conclusions: Laser lead extraction in the coronary sinus appears feasible in carefully selected cases with mandatory indications. However, special intraoperative monitoring and echocardiographic imaging with surgical backup ready is strongly recommended. Target vein selection may be limited for the purpose of reimplantation when leads are indwelling for greater than 3 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)830-837
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Biventricular pacing
  • Complications
  • Coronary sinus
  • Laser lead extraction
  • Venography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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