Strategies to prevent infections associated with cardiovascular implantable electronic devices

Bharath Raj Palraj, Saira Farid, M. Rizwan Sohail

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Infections involving cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIED) are associated with high morbidity and mortality and substantial financial cost. In the past two decades, the rate of CIED infections has increased disproportionate to the number of devices implanted, likely due to aging patient population with multiple comorbidities. Microbial contamination of the generator pocket and or leads by skin flora at the time of implantation is a major mechanism for early CIED infections. Due to resistance to host immune cells and antibiotics caused by biofilm formation, complete removal of the device generator and leads is required to achieve cure. Areas covered: In this manuscript, we review the published literature regarding epidemiology, risk factors, and pathogenesis of CIED infections with primary focus on the preventative strategies to reduce the incidence of device infections. Expert commentary: Strict adherence to infection control measures at the time of CIED implantation is critical in reducing the risk of device infection while adjunctive strategies such as use of antimicrobial envelopes might help in certain high-risk individuals. Technological advances in device manufacturing with availability of subcutaneous devices without transvenous leads and self-contained intracardiac devices without leads and generator show promise with lower risk of infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-381
Number of pages11
JournalExpert review of medical devices
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 4 2017


  • CIED infection
  • cardiac device
  • complications
  • endocarditis
  • infection
  • pacemaker
  • prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering


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