Cold atmospheric plasma: a new tool for the treatment of superficial driveline infections

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2017 Jan;51(1):186-187. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezw212. Epub 2016 Jun 28.


Percutaneous driveline infections (DI) are leading factors for morbidity and mortality in ventricular assist device (VAD) patients. In recent years, cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) has been safely and effectively used in clinical settings to treat topical infections. We describe the first use of CAP to treat a superficial DI. CAP was applied with the kinPen® MED plasma jet device (neoplas tools GmbH, Greifswald, Germany), in the treatment of a DI in a 66-year-old VAD patient in Klinikum Karlsburg, Germany. The patient received a daily application of CAP of 1 min for 12 days. One CAP application was administered each week for 4 weeks in our outpatient clinic after patient discharge. Laboratory tests were conducted and photographs of the driveline exit site were taken. After CAP treatment, the local infection was completely regressed without any signs of exudation or recurrence of the infection. There were no adverse side effects observed, and the HVAD logfile data did not show any abnormalities during treatment. Here, we demonstrate a successful resolution of a VAD DI with the kinPen plasma jet device. We believe that CAP has the potential to be a simple and effective tool in the treatment of superficial DIs.

Keywords: Cold atmospheric plasma; Driveline infection; Left ventricle assist device.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cefuroxime / therapeutic use
  • Disinfection / methods
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Heart-Assist Devices / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plasma Gases / administration & dosage
  • Plasma Gases / therapeutic use*
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / drug therapy
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / therapy*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Plasma Gases
  • Cefuroxime