Subclavian venoplasty by the implanting physicians in 373 patients over 11 years

Heart Rhythm. 2011 Apr;8(4):526-33. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2010.12.014. Epub 2010 Dec 13.


Background: The need to add a lead(s) despite subclavian/innominate obstruction is increasing. Subclavian venoplasty may be a good alternative to the commonly employed options; however, there are few reports in the literature, and all are by interventional radiologists.

Objective: To describe the procedural details, results and safety of venoplasty by implanting physicians in a large group of consecutive patients.

Methods: Safety, lead function and success were established from review of the procedure reports and clinical complications in 373 consecutive venoplasty patients from 1999-2010. Procedural details were obtained by review of the angiograms (venograms) and procedural flow charts of 152 consecutive patients from 2004-2007.

Results: Venoplasty was successful in 371 of 373 patients without damage to the existing leads and without clinical complications. Total angiographic occlusion was demonstrated in 65% of cases by peripheral venogram, but in only 20% of cases by contrast injection at the site of obstruction; 86% were crossed with a hydrophilic wire. Microdissection and excimer laser were used to cross three of the four wire-refractory occlusions. Obstruction was both central and peripheral in 22.1% of cases and central only in 17%. The time required to cross the obstruction and perform venoplasty was 13 ± 21 minutes. A noncompliant balloon was successful in most, but an ultranoncompliant balloon was required in 13% of cases. Contrast extravasation was common during crossing of a total obstruction and also was observed with balloon rupture on three occasions, but was not clinically significant.

Conclusions: Subclavian venoplasty is a safe, practical lead-management option that can be used by implanting physicians.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Catheterization / methods*
  • Electrodes, Implanted / adverse effects*
  • Equipment Failure
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phlebography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Subclavian Vein / diagnostic imaging
  • Subclavian Vein / surgery*
  • Time Factors
  • Venous Thrombosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Venous Thrombosis / etiology
  • Venous Thrombosis / surgery*