A survey of the practice of lead extraction in the United States

Charles A. Henrikson, Karl Zhang, Jeffrey A. Brinker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Background: Endovascular lead extraction is an important component of the management of patients with chronically implanted arrhythmia control devices. Although it is associated with the potential for significant morbidity and mortality, there is little information about its scope and practice. Methods: We surveyed 1,000 physician members of the Heart Rhythm Society via e-mail solicitation. Results: Of the 252 respondents (25%), 221 (88%) reported either performing extractions themselves (63%), or having privileges at a hospital where extractions are performed (25%). Electrophysiologists perform extractions at most sites (83%) but cardiac surgeons perform endovascular lead extraction at a significant minority of sites (20%). Most respondents report low annual volumes of extractions at their site: 15% reported <10 procedures/year, 42% 10-25 procedures/year, 23% 26-50 procedure/year, and only 19% reported >50 procedures/year. Thirty-six percent of respondents reported that extractions were done in the operating room (OR) with surgeon present or immediately available, 39% in the electrophysiology (EP) lab with surgeon and OR identified and available, and 25% in EP lab without a surgeon or OR identified. The overall risks of lead extraction were felt to be 1-5% of major complication and 0.5-1% of mortality, roughly in line with published data. Conclusions: While there is agreement as to the risk of major complication and death from lead extraction, the degree of surgical availability varies considerably. The new guidelines document recommends the ability to promptly initiate an emergent surgical procedure, and this should be an important goal for all extractionists. (PACE 2010; 33:721-726).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-726
Number of pages6
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Defibrillation - ICD
  • Pacing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'A survey of the practice of lead extraction in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this