Impact of antimicrobial selection for prophylaxis of left ventricular assist device surgical infections

Peter T. Nguyen, Teena Sam, Peter Colley, Johanna S. van Zyl, Joost Felius, Mezgebe Berhe, Dan Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Surgical site infections (SSIs) after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation are associated with high mortality, while surgical prophylaxis is variable. Methods: This retrospective study included adult patients who underwent LVAD implantation at a single center. We compared outcomes in patients who received narrow antimicrobial prophylaxis (cefazolin, vancomycin, or both) to those who received broad antimicrobial prophylaxis (any antimicrobial combination targeting gram-positive and gram-negative organisms not included in the narrow group) at 30-day and 1-year postimplantation. Cox-proportional hazards models and log-rank tests were used for survival analysis. Results: Among the 39 and 65 patients comprising narrow and broad groups respectively, there was no difference in rate of SSI at 30 days (6.2% vs. 12.8%, p =.290) and 1 year (16.9% vs. 25.6%, p =.435). Comparing narrow to broad prophylaxis, the risk of mortality (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.44, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.15–1.35, logrank p =.14), and composite of mortality and infection was reduced (HR = 0.92, 95% CI = 0.45–1.88, logrank p =.83), but did not reach statistical significance. Most culture positive infections were due to gram-positive bacteria (70%) and the most common organisms were the Staphylococcus spp (47%). There were no significant differences in the rate of SSI at 1-year (p = 1.00) and mortality (p =.33) by device type. Conclusions: The rates of infection and all-cause mortality were not different between patients who received narrow or broad prophylaxis. This highlights an opportunity for institutions to narrow their surgical infection prophylaxis protocols to primarily cover gram-positive organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3052-3059
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cardiac Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • LVAD
  • infections
  • prophylaxis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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