Improved extraction of ePTFE and medical adhesive modified defibrillation leads from the coronary sinus and great cardiac vein

Bruce L. Wilkoff, Peter H. Belott, Charles J. Love, Avram Scheiner, Randy Westlund, Marian Rippy, Mohan Krishnan, Barry E. Norlander, Bruce Steinhaus, Janson Emmanuel, Peter J. Zeller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Background: Permanent leads with shocking coils for defibrillation therapy are sometimes implanted in the coronary sinus (CS) and great cardiac vein (GCV). These shocking coils, as documented by pathologic examination of animal investigations, often become tightly encapsulated by fibrosis and can be very difficult to remove. Methods: One of three configurations of the Guidant model 7109 Perimeter® coronary sinus shocking lead was implanted into the distal portion of the GCV of 24 sheep for up to 14 months. Group 1 had unmodified coils (control), group 2 had coils backfilled with medical adhesive (MA), and Group 3 had coils coated with expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE). Eighteen leads, three from each group at 6 and 14 months were transvenously extracted from the left jugular vein. The remaining six animals were not subject to extraction. All animals were euthanized for pathological and microscopic examination. Results: All six of the control, three of the MA, and one of the ePTFE leads required the use of an electrosurgical dissection sheath (EDS) for extraction. Five control, two MA, and none of the ePTFE leads had significant fibrotic attachments to the shocking coils. Significant trauma was observed at necropsy for those leads requiring the use of the EDS for extraction. Conclusions: Tissue ingrowth is a major impediment to the removal of defibrillation leads implanted in the CS and GCV of sheep. Reduction of tissue ingrowth by coating the shocking coils with ePTFE or by backfilling with MA facilitates transvenous lead removal with reduced tissue trauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-211
Number of pages7
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Coronary sinus
  • Coronary vessels
  • Extraction
  • Great cardiac vein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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