Non-staphylococcal infections of cardiac implantable electronic devices

George M Viola, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background. The number of infections of cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIED) continues to escalate out of proportion to the increase rate of device implantation. Staphylococcal organisms account for 70% to 90% of all CIED infections. However, little is known about non-staphylococcal infections, which have been described only in case reports, small case series or combined in larger studies with staphylococcal CIED infections, thereby diluting their individual impact. Methods. A retrospective review of hospital records of patients admitted with a CIED-related infections were identified within four academic hospitals in Houston, Texas between 2002 and 2009. Results. Of the 504 identified patients with CIED-related infection, 80 (16%) had a non-staphylococcal infection and were the focus of this study. Although the demographics and comorbities of subjects were comparable to other reports, our study illustrates many key points: (a) the microbiologic diversity of non-staphylococcal infections was rather extensive, as it included other Gram-positive bacteria like streptococci and enterococci, a variety of Gram-negative bacteria, atypical bacteria including Nocardia and Mycobacteria, and fungi like Candida and Aspergillus; (b) the duration of CIED insertion prior to non-staphylococcal infection was relatively prolong (mean, 109 ± 27 weeks), of these 44% had their device previously manipulated within a mean of 29.5 ± 6 weeks; (c) non-staphylococcal organisms appear to be less virulent, cause prolonged clinical symptoms prior to admission (mean, 48 ± 12.8 days), and are associated with a lower mortality (4%) than staphylococcal organisms; (d) thirteen patients (16%) presented with CIED-related endocarditis; (e) although not described in prior reports, we identified 3 definite and 2 suspected cases of secondary Gram-negative bacteremia seeding of the CIED; and (f) inappropriate antimicrobial coverage was provided in approximately 50% of patients with non-staphylococcal infections for a mean period of 2.1 days. Conclusions. Non-staphylococcal CIED-related infections are prevalent and diverse with a relatively low virulence and mortality rate. Since non-staphylococcal organisms are capable of secondarily seeding the CIED, a high suspicion for CIED-related infection is warranted in patients with bloodstream infection. Additionally, in patients with suspected CIED infection, adequate Gram positive and -negative antibacterial coverage should be administered until microbiologic data become available.

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Recommended Citation

Viola, George M, "Non-staphylococcal infections of cardiac implantable electronic devices" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1474733.