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Biomarker-based diagnosis of pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defibrillator pocket infections: A prospective, multicentre, case-control evaluation.

By Carsten Lennerz, Hrvoje Vrazic, Bernhard Haller, Siegmund Braun, Tobias Petzold, Ilka Ott, Agnes Lennerz, Jonathan Michel, Patrick Blažek, Isabel Deisenhofer, Peter Whittaker and Christof Kolb


The use of cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIED) has risen steadily, yet the rate of cardiac device infections (CDI) has disproportionately increased. Amongst all cardiac device infections, the pocket infection is the most challenging diagnosis. Therefore, we aimed to improve diagnosis of such pocket infection by identifying relevant biomarkers.We enrolled 25 consecutive patients with invasively and microbiologically confirmed pocket infection. None of the patients had any confounding conditions. Pre-operative levels of 14 biomarkers were compared in infected and control (n = 50) patients. Our selected biomarkers included white blood cell count (WBC), C-reactive protein (CRP), procalcitonin (PCT), lipopolysaccharide binding protein, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (HS-CRP), polymorphonuclear-elastase, presepsin, various interleukins, tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF).Of the 25 patients with isolated pocket infection (70±13years, 76% male, 40% ICDs), none presented with leukocytosis. In contrast, they had higher serum levels of HS-CRP (p = 0.019) and PCT (p = 0.010) than control patients. Median PCT-level was 0.06 ng/mL (IQR 0.03-0.07 ng/mL) in the study group versus 0.03 ng/mL (IQR 0.02-0.04 ng/mL) in controls. An optimized PCT cut-off value of 0.05 ng/mL suggests pocket infection with a sensitivity of 60% and specificity of 82%. In addition TNF-α- and GM-CSF-levels were lower in the study group. Other biomarkers did not differ between groups.Diagnosis of isolated pocket infections requires clinical awareness, physical examination, evaluation of blood cultures and echocardiography assessment. Nevertheless, measurement of PCT- and HS-CRP-levels can aid diagnosis. However, no conclusion can be drawn from normal identifier: NCT01619267

Topics: Medicine, R, Science, Q
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
DOI identifier: 10.1371/journal.pone.0172384
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