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abandoned leads, implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, pacemaker, lead revision, complications, mortality



Lead revisions have increased over the last decade. Patients who do not undergo lead extraction face an increased lead burden. Consequences of increased lead burden have not been fully defined. We sought to characterize the complication rate and outcomes in patients with sterile redundant leads.


We retrospectively reviewed 242 consecutive patients [mean age 74 ± 12 years; 66.9% male] who underwent lead revision that resulted in an abandoned lead from January 2005 to June 2010. Patients were placed in a cohort based on number of leads after last recorded procedure (Group A: ≤2 [n=58]; Group B: 3-4 [n=168]; Group C: ≥5 [n=16]). Prespecified inhospital and long-term follow-up events were compared. Mortality rates were obtained from Social Security Death Index. Median follow-up was 2 years.


Baseline age, gender and race demographics were similar among the three groups. Increasing lead burden was associated with more adverse periprocedural events (A: 3.4%, B: 10.1%, C: 25.0%; P=0.031) and long-term device-related events (A: 1.7%, B: 13.0%, C: 18.8%; P=0.031). Device-related readmissions increased in frequency as lead burden increased (A: 3.5%, B: 18.5%, C: 37.5%; P=0.002). Combined periprocedural and late events also increased with more redundant leads (A: 5.2%, B: 23.2%, C: 44.0%; P=0.001). Total major events were infrequent (3.3%). There was no procedure-related mortality. Long-term all-cause mortality was not significantly different (A: 17.2%, B: 23.8%, C: 25.0%; P=0.567).


Greater lead burden was associated with increased number of periprocedural and long-term minor events. It did not significantly impact major events or mortality.



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