Infections of implantable cardioverter defibrillators: Approach to management

K. A. Spratt, E. A. Blumberg, C. A. Wood, S. P. Kutalek, A. C. Reboli

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    Implantable cardioverter defibrillators are being used with increasing frequency for the treatment of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. Nevertheless, no guidelines exist for the management of infections of these devices. We report our experience with infections of these devices and review the English-language literature. In all cases, patients presented with local signs of generator infection; systemic signs of infection and bacteremia were often absent. Most infections are due to staphylococcus. Risk factors for the development of infection include placement of the device via median sternotomy during another cardiac surgical procedure, reoperation, and intercurrent infection at another site. Infections are most reliably treated with full explantation of the device and antibiotics. In rare cases, patients may respond to a combination of intravenous antibiotics and removal and replacement of only the generator.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)679-685
    Number of pages7
    JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1993


    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Microbiology (medical)
    • Infectious Diseases

    Cite this

    Spratt, K. A., Blumberg, E. A., Wood, C. A., Kutalek, S. P., & Reboli, A. C. (1993). Infections of implantable cardioverter defibrillators: Approach to management. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 17(4), 679-685.