Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Laser removal of heart device wires safe for older patients, study suggests

Date:
October 12, 2011
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Using a laser to remove pacemaker and defibrillator wires implanted in heart muscle is as safe in people ages 80 and older as it is in younger people. Researchers found no important risk differences between the two age groups. This should reduce safety concerns and increase the procedure's use in octogenarians.

Using a laser to remove wires connecting implanted pacemakers and defibrillators to the heart is as safe in people age 80 or older as it is in younger patients, according to research reported in Circulation: Arrhythmia & Electrophysiology, an American Heart Association journal.

"We wanted to know if age was a risk factor in this procedure, and if octogenarians fare as well as younger patients," said Roger G. Carrillo, M.D., senior study author and chief of surgical electrophysiology at the University of Miami Hospital in Florida. "We found no difference in risk."

The findings have important implications for physicians and the increasing number of elderly who could benefit from the technique, called laser lead extraction. Many physicians have hesitated to use the procedure in people in their 80s because of safety concerns.

Three million Americans rely on implanted pacemakers or defibrillators, and another 400,000 annually receive one of the lifesaving devices. Eighty percent of the devices are implanted in people older than 65.

Most recipients experience no device complications. However, about 1 percent to 2 percent develop infections or damaged wires that require lead removal, usually done with a gentle tug.

In some patients, the amount of natural scarring caused by healing requires a more aggressive approach. For a quarter-century, this meant open-heart surgery. In the 1980s, researchers began developing less-risky procedures.

The laser technique, created in 1997, uses a catheter coated with optical fibers to conduct laser light that's threaded through a vein to the heart. Once positioned over a lead, a measured dose of laser energy removes the scar tissue. Such advances have eliminated surgical lead removal.

Carrillo and his colleagues studied the medical records of 506 people who had laser lead extractions during 5 years that ended in June 2009. They divided the patients into two groups: 388 adults younger than 80 and 118 adults 80 or older.

The average age of the younger group was 64 years; the older patients were an average 85. All patients received new leads within one week.

Among the study findings:

  • Infection was the most common reason for lead extraction, but there was no important difference in infection rates between the two groups.
  • Complications weren't significantly different between the two sets of patients.
  • Rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure were not different between the two groups.
  • More octogenarians had pacemakers than those under 80 -- 56 percent vs. 36 percent.
  • The younger group had more defibrillators -- 47 percent vs. 28 percent.

"This is an exciting study because it demonstrates elderly people can go through laser lead extraction in a safer way," said Carrillo, who is associate professor of clinical surgery at the university's medical school.

However, two elements may have influenced primary results of the study, he said. The number of participants 80 and older was small, and they conducted the study in a single hospital that does many laser procedures. Confirming the findings will require more patients in a multicenter study that includes hospitals whose physicians have less experience with laser extractions, Carrillo said.

Co-authors are Yasser Rodriguez, M.D., and Juan D. Garisto, M.D.

The University of Miami funded the research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Y. Rodriguez, J. D. Garisto, R. G. Carrillo. A Novel Retrograde Laser Extraction Technique Using a Transatrial Approach: An Alternative for Complex Lead Extractions. Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 2011; 4 (4): 501 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCEP.111.963462

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Laser removal of heart device wires safe for older patients, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111011163051.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2011, October 12). Laser removal of heart device wires safe for older patients, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111011163051.htm
American Heart Association. "Laser removal of heart device wires safe for older patients, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111011163051.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins