Rate, Time Course, and Predictors of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Infections: An Analysis From the SIMPLE Trial Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: The number of implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) infections is increasing due to an increased number of ICD implants, higher-risk patients, and more frequent replacement procedures, which carry a higher risk of infection. Reducing the morbidity, mortality, and cost of ICD-related infections requires an understanding of the current rate of this complication and its predictors. METHODS: The Shock Implant Evaluation Trial (SIMPLE) trial randomized 2500 ICD recipients to defibrillation testing or not. Over an average of 3.1 years, patients were seen every 6 months and examined for evidence of ICD infection, which was defined as requiring device removal and/or intravenous antibiotics. RESULTS: Within 24 months, 21 patients (0.8%) developed infection. Fourteen patients (67%) with infection presented within 30 days, 20 patients by 12 months, and only 1 patient beyond 12 months. Univariate analysis demonstrated that patients with primary electrical disorders (3 patients, P = 0.009) and those with a secondary prevention indication (13 patients, P = 0.0009) were more likely to develop infection. Among the 2.2% of patients who developed an ICD wound hematoma, 10.4% developed an infection. Among the 8.3% of patients requiring an ICD reintervention, 1.9% developed an infection. CONCLUSIONS: This cohort of ICD recipients at high-volume centres have a low risk of device-related infection. However; strategies to reduce wound hematoma and the need for ICD reintervention could further reduce the rate of infection.


  • Philippon, François
  • O’Hara, Gilles E
  • Champagne, Jean
  • Hohnloser, Stefan H
  • Glikson, Michael
  • Neuzner, Jörg
  • Mabo, Philippe
  • Vinolas, Xavier
  • Kautzner, Josef
  • Gadler, Fredrik
  • Lashevsky, Noa
  • Connolly, Stuart J
  • Liu, Yan Y
  • Healey, Jeffrey Sean

publication date

  • September 2020