Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Managing patients with cardiac implantable electrophysiological devices (CIED) infections can be challenging. The first step should be prevention, which involves patient selection, timing of implantation, and the procedure itself. After implantation, a high degree of suspicion should be applied in order to correctly diagnose patients with infected implanted devices. It is necessary to recognize that patients can present with a wide variety of signs and symptoms. Once diagnosed, the next step is determining if it is a local pocket infection or system infection. In almost every patient, in addition to antibiotics, complete removal of ALL hardware is required. Transvenous lead extraction is now safe and effective, but should only be performed at experienced centres with a practiced extraction team, all possible needed equipment, and cardiothoracic surgical backup. After extraction, the indication for CIED therapy should be re-evaluated to determine re-implantation is warranted. Timing of re-implantation depends on a variety of factors such as type of infection or valvular involvement and should be made in concordance with an infectious disease specialist. This review is aimed at introducing the steps needed to manage patients with infected cardiac devices.