Risk factor analysis of permanent pacemaker infection

Muhammad R. Sohail, Daniel Z. Uslan, Akbar H. Khan, Paul A. Friedman, David L. Hayes, Walter R. Wilson, James M. Steckelberg, Sarah M. Stoner, Larry M. Baddour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

217 Scopus citations


Background. Several host- and procedure-related factors have been reported to increase the risk of permanent pacemaker (PPM) infection on the basis of descriptive analyses of case series. The purpose of this study is to assess the risk factors for PPM infection using case-control study methods. Methods. All patients who had a PPM implanted at our institution from January 1991 to December 2003 were retrospectively reviewed. Each patient who experienced a PPM infection was matched with 2 control subjects by age, sex, year of implantation, and duration of follow-up. Univariate and multivariable analyses were performed to identify significant risk factors for PPM infection. Results. Twenty-nine case patients and 58 control subjects met inclusion criteria. The majority (83%) of case patients presented with a pocket infection; a minority (10%) had PPM-related endocarditis. Staphylococcus species (69%) were the most common pathogens. On univariate analysis, previous PPM infection, malignancy, long-term corticosteroid use, multiple device revisions, a permanent central venous catheter, the presence of >2 pacing leads, and a lack of antibiotic prophylaxis at the time of PPM placement were associated with an increased risk of PPM infection. A multivariable logistic regression model identified long-term corticosteroid use (odds ratio [OR], 13.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.27-151.7; P = .03) and the presence of >2 pacing leads versus 2 leads (OR, 5.41; 95% CI, 1.44-20.29; P = .01) as independent risk factors for PPM infection. In contrast, use of antibiotic prophylaxis prior to PPM implantation had a protective effect (OR, 0.087; 95% CI, 0.016-0.48; P = .005). Conclusions. These findings should assist clinicians in identifying patients who are at increased risk of PPM infection, as well as in developing strategies to minimize the modifiable risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-173
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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