Use of antimicrobial agent pocket irrigation for cardiovascular implantable electronic device infection prophylaxis: Results from an international survey

Qi Zheng, Luigi Di Biase, Kevin J. Ferrick, Jay N. Gross, Nils A. Guttenplan, Soo G. Kim, Andrew K. Krumerman, Eugen C. Palma, John Devens Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Survey the usage and application protocol of antimicrobial agent pocket irrigation for cardiovascular implantable electronic device (CIED) infection prophylaxis. Background: Local antibiotic usage for CIED infection prophylaxis, in particular pocket irrigation, is a well-known strategy but with little data on its clinical effectiveness. Methods: An anonymous voluntary online survey was sent to a total of 2,092 arrhythmia-oriented cardiologists in 51 countries (1,490 from the United States). Results: There were 487 responses (response rate 23.3%: U.S. 28.2%, outside of the U.S. 11.1%). Eighty-seven percent of respondents use intraoperative antimicrobial agent pocket irrigation and/or an antimicrobial eluting pouch to reduce CIED infection. Fifty-four percent of respondents believe that it is effective to use an antimicrobial agent pocket irrigation to reduce CIED infection; 33% of respondents are uncertain; a few consider this strategy ineffective (13%) or offered no opinion. Significant differences exist in the practice patterns and beliefs between the U.S. and non-U.S. countries (P < 0.05). Ninety-eight percent of respondents report using the same pocket irrigation protocol for permanent pacemaker versus implantable cardioverter defibrillator. Bacitracin (48%), vancomycin (39%), and a cephalosporin (29%) are the most commonly chosen antibiotics. A majority of the respondents are unaware of the cost of using antimicrobial agent pocket irrigation (69%) and neither are they concerned (67%). Conclusion: This international survey suggests that, while there are little clinical data to support or discourage such practice, the usage of antimicrobial agent pocket irrigation for CIED infection prophylaxis is widely used in current practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1298-1306
Number of pages9
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018



  • cardiovascular implantable electronic device
  • infection
  • pocket irrigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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