Transcatheter aspiration of large pacemaker and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator lead vegetations facilitating safe transvenous lead extraction.

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Europace : European pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac electrophysiology : journal of the working groups on cardiac pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac cellular electrophysiology of the European Society of Cardiology


AIMS: Treatment of patients with systemic cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) infection with large lead vegetations is challenging and associated with relevant morbidity and mortality. To avoid complications from open surgical extraction, a novel approach with percutaneous aspiration of large vegetations prior to transvenous lead extraction was instituted. The results of this treatment concept were retrospectively analysed in this multicentre study.

METHODS AND RESULTS: One hundred and one patients [mean age 68.2 ± 13.1 (30-92) years] were treated in four centres for endovascular CIED infection with large lead vegetations. Mean lead vegetation size was 30.7 ± 13.5 mm. Two hundred and forty-seven leads were targeted for extraction (170 pacemaker leads, 77 implantable cardioverter-defibrillator leads). Mean lead implant duration was 81.7 (1-254) months. The transcatheter aspiration system with a specialized long venous drainage cannula and a funnel-shaped tip was based on a veno-venous extracorporeal circuit with an in-line filter. The aspiration of vegetations showed complete procedural success in 94.0% (n = 95), partial success in 5.0% (n = 5). Three major complications (3.0%) were encountered. Complete procedural success (per lead) of the subsequently performed transvenous lead extraction procedure was 99.2% (n = 245). Thirty-day mortality was 3.0% (n = 3). Five patients (5.0%) died in the further course on Days 51, 54, 68, 134, and 182 post-procedure (septic complications: n = 4; heart failure: n = 1).

CONCLUSION: The percutaneous aspiration procedure is highly effective and is associated with a low complication profile. The aspiration of vegetations immediately prior and during the lead extraction procedure may avoid septic embolization into the pulmonary circulation. This may potentially lead to a long-term survival benefit.

Clinical Institute

Cardiovascular (Heart)