Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Heart Rhythm


BACKGROUND: Early subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (S-ICD) studies included atypical cohorts of patients who were younger with fewer comorbidities. Recent S-ICD studies included patient populations with more comorbidities.

OBJECTIVES: The goals of this study were to determine the incidence and predictors of S-ICD-related infection over a 3-year follow-up period and to use these results to develop an infection risk score.

METHODS: The S-ICD Post Approval Study is a US prospective registry of 1637 patients. Baseline demographic characteristics and outcomes with 3-year postimplantation follow-up were compared between patients with and without device-related infection. A risk score was derived from multivariable proportional hazards analysis of 22 variables.

RESULTS: Infection was observed in 55 patients (3.3%), with 69% of infections occurring within 90 days and a vast majority (92.7%) within 1 year of implantation. Late infections more likely involved device erosion; no infections occurred after year 2. The annual mortality rate postinfection was 0.6%/y. No lead extraction complications or bacteremia related to infection were observed. An infection risk score was created with diabetes, age, prior transvenous ICD implant, and ejection fraction as predictors. Patients with a risk score of ≥3 had an 8.8 hazard ratio (95% confidence interval 2.8-16.3) of infection compared with a 0 risk score.

CONCLUSION: Infection rates in the S-ICD Post Approval Study were similar to other S-ICD populations and not associated with systemic blood-borne infections. Late infection (>1 year) is uncommon and associated with system erosion. A high-risk infection cohort can be identified that may facilitate preventive measures. CLINCALTRIALS.


PubMed ID



ePub ahead of print



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