The use of cardiac devices, that is, pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, has increased, and the incidence will likely continue to increase due to an aging population with associated risk factors. Unfortunately, this implies an increasing number of complications, including infections. Cardiac device-related infection is a dreaded complication causing both increased morbidity and mortality, and considerable costs. Because of the presence of a foreign body in subcutaneous tissue, vasculature, and the heart, patients with cardiac device systems are at increased risk of endocarditis due to microbial agents. In general, an infected device system should be removed in its entirety. The timing of reimplantation varies due to indication and severity of the infection. Furthermore, the explant procedure may be complicated and should be performed by an experienced team including facilities to handle life-threatening complications. The subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator or leadless pacemaker can serve as an option in selected cases. This chapter will describe clinical aspects of cardiac device-related infections.
Part of the book: Infective Endocarditis