A Roadmap for Reducing Cardiac Device Infections: a Review of Epidemiology, Pathogenesis, and Actionable Risk Factors to Guide the Development of an Infection Prevention Program for the Electrophysiology Laboratory

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number34
JournalCurrent Infectious Disease Reports
Issue number10
StatusPublished - Oct 1 2017


Purpose of Review: Cardiovascular implantable electronic device (CIED) infections are highly morbid, common, and costly, and rates are increasing (Sohail et al. Arch Intern Med 171(20):1821–8 2011; Voigt et al. J Am Coll Cardiol 48(3):590–1 2006). Factors that contribute to the development of CIED infections include patient factors (comorbid conditions, self-care, microbiome), procedural details (repeat procedure, contamination during procedure, appropriate pre-procedural prep, and antimicrobial use), environmental and organizational factors (patient safety culture, facility barriers, such as lack of space to store essential supplies, quality of environmental cleaning), and microbial factors (type of organism, virulence of organism). Each of these can be specifically targeted with infection prevention interventions. Recent Findings: Basic prevention practices, such as administration of systemic antimicrobials prior to incision and delaying the procedure in the setting of fever or elevated INR, are helpful for day-to-day prevention of cardiac device infections. Small single-center studies provide proof-of-concept that bundled prevention interventions can reduce infections, particularly in outbreak settings. However, data regarding which prevention strategies are the most important is limited as are data regarding the optimal prevention program for day-to-day prevention (Borer et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 25(6):492–7 2004; Ahsan et al. Europace 16(10):1482–9 2014). Summary: Evolution of infection prevention programs to include ambulatory and procedural areas is crucial as healthcare delivery is increasingly provided outside of hospitals and operating rooms. The focus on traditional operating rooms and inpatient care leaves the vast majority of healthcare delivery—including cardiac device implantations in the electrophysiology laboratory—uncovered.

    Research areas

  • Cardiac device infection, Infection prevention and control, Quality improvement, Surveillance