The Dotter Retriever and Pigtail Catheter: Efficacy in Extraction of Chronic Transvenous Pacemaker Leads

RAÚL E. ESPINOSA, DAVID L. HAYES, RONALD E. VLIETSTRA, MICHAEL J. OSBORN, MICHAEL D. McGOON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Several techniques exist for percutaneous extraction of chronic pacemaker leads. To establish the efficacy of the Dotter retriever and pigtail catheter, we reviewed the removal of 59 endocardial pacemaker leads in 42 patients (mean age 71 years). The mean duration of lead implantation was 44 months (range 1–169 months). Thirty‐two leads were withdrawn with simple traction alone, and five leads were abandoned when traction failed. The remaining 22 leads were manipulated with a Dotter retriever or pigtail catheter, or both. Twelve leads were dislodged from the endocardium with simple traction (10)or with traction transmitted through an entwining pigtail catheter (2), but they could not be fully withdraivn. Eleven of these leads (92%)were then successfully extracted with the Dotter retriever. Seven of the remaining 10 leads were successfully disJodged and removed by the Dotter retriever. Overall, 9 of 12 leads (75%)that could not be dislodged from the endocardium with simple traction were removed with a Dotter retriever or pigtail catheter, or both. Three patients in whom no catheter method worked required thoracotomy for removal of infected leads. No complications resulted from use of the Dotter retriever or pigtail catheter. We conclude that the Dotter retriever and pigtail catheter have moderate efficacy for dislodging chronic endocardial leads. Once mobilized, however, the leads can be withdrawn with great success with the Dotter retriever. Newer technology should not result in the abandonment of this proven technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2337-2342
Number of pages6
JournalPacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Volume16
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1993

Keywords

  • Dotter
  • extraction
  • infection
  • pacemaker
  • pigtail
  • transvenous electrode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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