Infections in Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Patients

D. Wunderly, J. Maloney, T. Edel, M. McHenry, P. M. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Implantable cardioverter de;fibrillators fICDsj have been documented as an effective modality in reducing arrhythmic mortality. A serious complication associated with implantation of the device is infection. Few studies have addressed this issue. Two hundred seven patients with refractory ventricular arrhythmias underwent 207 ICD implantations, and 56 subcutaneous generator changes at our institution. Eight patients developed wound infections, four following ICD implantation (4 out of 207 or 1.9%), and four following a generator change (4 out of 56 or 7.1%). Wound cultures most commonly revealed Staphylococcus aurous and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Infections treated with antibiotics alone, or with only generator removal, frequently recurred (four out of five attempts). There were no recurrences following total patch/lead and generator system removal. In jive patients, the same generator unit was successfully emplaned following ethylene oxide sterilization without infection recurrence. We conclude that treatment of device‐associated infection generally requires total generator and patch/lead system removal, and that generator units can be successfully reimplanted yielding substantial cost savings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1360-1364
Number of pages5
JournalPacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1990


  • device reuse
  • implantable cardioverter defibrillator
  • infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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