ICD may cause complications, even death

Cardiac device infective endocarditis (CDIE), an infection in the heart tissue of patients implanted with permanent pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), requires complex management, including prolonged antibiotic therapy, surgical removal of the device, and/or device reimplantation. Dr. Eugene Athan of Barwon Health, in Geelong, Australia, and colleagues conducted a study from June 2000 through August 2006 in 61 centers in 28 countries to examine the characteristics and outcome of CDIE and to determine prognostic factors, mortality and outcomes following device removal. Cardiac device infective endocarditis was diagnosed in 177 of the total cohort of 2,760 patients. Results showed these patients experienced complications such as coexisting valve infections, heart failure, persistent bacteremia (bacteria in the blood), and high in-hospital and 1-year mortality rates.