Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Cardiovasc Dis. 2012;2(2):116-22. Epub 2012 May 15.

The prevalence of methicillin resistant organisms among pacemaker and defibrillator implant recipients.

Author information

  • 1Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Beaumont Health System Royal Oak, MI, USA.



Pacemaker and defibrillator infections are an uncommon, but catastrophic complication of device implantation. The present study examined the prevalence of device-related infections, the patterns of antibiotic resistance, and the presence of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nares colonization in device implant recipients.


Two protocols were employed using a retrospective and a prospective analysis. A retrospective chart review of 218 patients with suspected device infection from 1/2000 to 1/2011 was performed. Demographics, infection rates, and patterns of antibiotic resistance were compared. The prospective analysis enrolled one hundred eighty two patients undergoing device implantations or generator replacements. The nares were swabbed and analyzed for the presence of staphylococcus aureus, and tested for methicillin sensitivity.


Over a period of ten years, 12,771 device implants/generator changes/system revisions were performed, with an infection rate of 1.2%. Methicillin resistance (MR) was identified in 98/218 (44.9%) of patients. Those with MR infection had more diabetes and cardiomyopathy. There was no significant increase in methicillin resistance over time (p=0.30). Our prospective analysis included 110 men. A total of 32 patients (17.6%) had positive cultures for SA: 6.6% with MRSA. Patients positive for MRSA nares colonization had a statistically significant greater length of hospital stay 8.5 days (mean) versus 4.4 days (P=0.049).


Methicillin resistant organisms appear to be emerging and persistent pathogens in device implants. The screening of MRSA colonization may identify new populations at risk. Further studies and analysis are needed to determine the cost effectiveness of a screening protocol.


MRSA infections; Pacemaker infections; antibiotic prophylaxis; methicillin resistant infections; nares colonization; pacemaker generator changes

Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk