Forces Applied during Transvenous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Lead Removal
BACKGROUND Percutaneous extraction of standard implantable cardioverter-defibrillator leads is often complicated by ingrowth of fibrotic tissue into the shocking coils. Leads with GORE™ expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) coating (W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., Newark, DE, USA) designed to inhibit fibrosis are in use, but clinical data regarding their extraction are lacking. The study's purpose was to examine the feasibility, efficacy, and safety of percutaneous extraction involving defibrillator leads coated with ePTFE. METHODS We analyzed our database to identify all percutaneously extracted leads with ePTFE-coated shocking coils. Lead and procedure characteristics were compared to a cohort of noncoated leads of similar implant duration. RESULTS One hundred fifty-six leads were extracted from 145 patients; 57 ePTFE-coated leads, with a mean implant duration of 621 days, were extracted and compared to 99 noncoated leads, with a mean implant duration of 763 days (P = 0.0641). Mean extraction time was 5 minutes for coated leads versus 9.75 minutes for noncoated leads (P = 0.0001). Extraction time of less than 1 minute was more frequent with coated leads (61% vs 35%, P = 0.0025). Adjunct extraction tools were required less frequently with coated leads than noncoated leads (39% vs 63%, P = 0.0071). There was no fibrosis where ePTFE covered the shocking coils. Alternatively, 23 of 99 (23%) noncoated leads demonstrated fibrosis adherent to the shock coil. There were no procedure-related complications in either group. CONCLUSIONS Compared to noncoated leads, ePTFE-coated leads are associated with shorter extraction times and are less likely to require extraction tools for removal. The difference is likely related to the absence of fibrosis over the ePTFE-coated high-energy coils.