Management of systemic fungal infections in the presence of a cardiac implantable electronic device: A systematic review

Jayson R. Baman*, Ankit N. Medhekar*, Sandeep K. Jain, Bradley P. Knight, Lee H. Harrison, Brandon Smith, Samir Saba

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Evidence to inform the management of systemic fungal infections in the setting of a cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIED), such as a permanent pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, is scant and limited to case reports and series. The available literature suggests high morbidity and mortality. To better characterize the shared experience of these cases and their outcomes, we performed a systematic review. We investigated all published reports of systemic fungal infections—fungemia and fungal vegetative disease—in the context of CIED, drawing from PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane database of systematic reviews, inclusive of patients who received treatment between January 2000 and May 2020. Exclusion criteria included presence of ventricular assist device and concurrent bacteremia, bacterial endocarditis, bacterial vegetative infection, or viremia. Among 6261 screened articles, 48 cases from 41 individual studies were identified. Candida and Aspergillus species were the most commonly isolated fungi. There was significant heterogeneity in antifungal medication selection and duration. CIED extraction—either transvenous or surgical—was associated with increased survival to hospital discharge (92%) and clinical recovery at latest follow-up (81%), compared to cases where CIED extraction was deferred (56% and 40%, respectively). Importantly, there were no prospective data, and the data were limited to individual case reports and one small case series. In summary, CIED extraction is associated with improved fungal clearance and patient survival. Reported antifungal regimens are heterogeneous and nonuniform. Prospective studies are needed to verify these results and define optimal antifungal regimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • defibrillator
  • fungal
  • fungemia
  • pacemaker
  • vegetation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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