Effect of fibrotic capsule debridement during generator replacement on cardiac implantable electronic device infection risk

Gustavo R. Goldenberg*, Alon Barsheshet, Jihad Bishara, Ehud Kadmon, Alex Omelchencko, Boris Strasberg, Gregory Golovchiner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cardiovascular implantable electronic device (CIED) replacement is increasingly common. It has been proposed that capsule removal at the time of CIED replacement may reduce infection rates. In this study, we aimed to assess how pocket capsule removal impacted infection rates in patients undergoing CIED replacement. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients who underwent CIED replacement from 2006 to 2016 at a single centre. We retrieved patient data, procedure details, and clinical outcomes. To evaluate the relationship between capsule removal and CIED infection, we used the Cox proportional hazard model, with adjustment for multiple variables. Results: During the study period, 773 patients underwent device replacement. Of these patients, 194 (25%) underwent capsule debridement during the replacement procedure. The mean patient age was 75 ± 15 years, and 281 (36.3%) were females. The replaced CIEDs included DDD pacemakers (32%), VDD pacemakers (15%), VVI/AAI pacemakers (13%), defibrillators (22%), and cardiac resynchronization therapy devices (CRT-D/P) (17%). During an average follow-up of 3.6 years, 42 (5%) patients experienced a CIED infection. Multivariate analysis revealed that patients who underwent capsule removal had a significantly lower risk of CIED infection, with a hazard ratio of 0.32 (95% confidence interval, 0.12–0.83; P = 0.019). Conclusions: Capsule debridement during CIED replacement was associated with a significant reduction of CIED infection risk. There is a need for randomized controlled studies to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Capsule debridement
  • Cardiac implantable electronic device
  • Infection
  • Outcomes


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