Lead Extraction and Mortality Among Patients With Cardiac Implanted Electronic Device Infection

JAMA Cardiol. 2023 Dec 1;8(12):1165-1173. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2023.3379.


Importance: Complete hardware removal is a class I recommendation for cardiovascular implantable electronic device (CIED) infection, but practice patterns and outcomes remain unknown.

Objective: To quantify the number of Medicare patients with CIED infections who underwent implantation from 2006 to 2019 and lead extraction from 2007 to 2019 to analyze the outcomes in these patients in a nationwide clinical practice cohort.

Design, setting, and participants: This cohort study included fee-for-service Medicare Part D beneficiaries from January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2019, who had a de novo CIED implantation and a CIED infection more than 1 year after implantation. Data were analyzed from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2019.

Exposure: A CIED infection, defined as (1) endocarditis or infection of a device implant and (2) documented antibiotic therapy.

Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcomes of interest were device infection, device extraction, and all-cause mortality. Time-varying multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to evaluate the association between extraction and survival.

Results: Among 1 065 549 patients (median age, 78.0 years [IQR, 72.0-84.0 years]; 50.9% male), mean (SD) follow-up was 4.6 (2.9) years after implantation. There were 11 304 patients (1.1%) with CIED infection (median age, 75.0 years [IQR, 67.0-82.0 years]); 60.1% were male, and 7724 (68.3%) had diabetes. A total of 2102 patients with CIED infection (18.6%) underwent extraction within 30 days of diagnosis. Infection occurred a mean (SD) of 3.7 (2.4) years after implantation, and 1-year survival was 68.3%. There was evidence of highly selective treatment, as most patients did not have extraction within 30 days of diagnosed infection (9202 [81.4%]), while 1511 (13.4%) had extraction within 6 days of diagnosis and 591 (5.2%) had extraction between days 7 and 30. Any extraction was associated with lower mortality compared with no extraction (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR], 0.82; 95% CI, 0.74-0.90; P < .001). Extraction within 6 days was associated with even lower risk of mortality (AHR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.61-0.78; P < .001).

Conclusions and relevance: In this study, a minority of patients with CIED infection underwent extraction. Extraction was associated with a lower risk of death compared with no extraction. The findings suggest a need to improve adherence to guideline-directed care among patients with CIED infection.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Defibrillators, Implantable* / adverse effects
  • Endocarditis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicare
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology