To investigate the clinical outcome of retained functionless leads, we retrospectively studied patients with one or more abandoned pacing leads over the period from 1987 to 1999. We identified 28 patients with abandoned leads (15 males and 13 females with an average age of 70) out of 720 total patients. The number of retained leads was 1 in 23 patients, 2 in 4 patients, and 3 in 1 patient. The mean follow-up period after lead retention was 64.5 months (range 3-216 months). The reasons for retention were as follows: lead fracture (17), infection (4), lead entrapment (3), threshold rise (2), and mode change (2). The residual sites of leads were in the right atrium (12), the right ventricle (18), the tricuspid valve (2), and the coronary sinus (1). During the follow-up period, 26 patients had no adverse complications requiring lead extraction. Only 2 patients had an infection with septicemia, and one of them underwent surgical removal of the infected lead. Anti-coagulation treatment was administered in 11 patients (39%), but symptomatic venous thrombosis or pulmonary thromboembolism were not recognized clinically in any patients. We concluded that the incidence of adverse complications for abandoned pacing leads is very low. Most retained leads are safe in the long-term and do not require extraction unless an infection is present.
Yuji Nakazato, Yasuro Nakata, Gaku Sekita, Haruyo Yamashita, Long-term Follow-up of Retained Functionless Pacing Leads Journal of the Hong Kong College of Cardiology 2001;9(3) https://doi.org/10.55503/2790-6744.1174