Open Access
Open Peer Review

This article has Open Peer Review reports available.

How does Open Peer Review work?

Successful surgical management of pace-marker induced infective endocarditis under the guidance of real-time three-dimensional trans-esophageal echocardiogram

Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery20149:96

https://doi.org/10.1186/1749-8090-9-96

Received: 18 February 2014

Accepted: 27 May 2014

Published: 31 May 2014

Abstract

The infection of cardiac implantable electronic device is a serious and potentially lethal complication. Accurate preoperative evaluation of location of vegetation, cardiac valve pathology is of paramount important. We reported a case of 71 year-old male patient who suffered from pacemaker endocarditis was given suitable surgical treatment under the guidance of real-time three-dimensional trans-esophageal echocardiogram.

Keywords

Real-time three-dimensional trans-esophageal echocardiogramPacemaker endocarditisVegetation

Background

The infection of cardiac implantable electronic device is a serious and potentially lethal complication especially in older patients with associated comorbid conditions. Accurate preoperative evaluation of location of vegetation, cardiac valve pathology is of paramount important. Real-time 3-dimensional trans-esophageal echocardiography (RT3D TEE) is able to demonstrate precise relationships among various anatomical structures and visualize intra-cardiac catheters, vegetation as well as the valve morphology while without artifact associated with TTE and conventional TEE which would largely facilitate surgical strategy making. We then report a case of successful management of pacemaker induced infective endocarditis under the guidance of RT3D TEE.

Case presentation

A 71 year-old male patient of Han nationality was admitted to the emergency department with 4-weeks history of recurrent fever, cough and hemoptysis which were refractory to broad spectrum antibiotics. He had history of dual-chamber pacemaker implantation due to sick sinus syndrome. On admission, computed tomography of the chest demonstrated bilateral pulmonary infiltrate. Multiple blood cultures confirmed positive for staphylococcus aureus. Trans-thoracic echocardiogram (TTE) revealed the pacemaker in the right ventricular and a giant vegetation sized 16*10 mm in the tricuspid valve causing moderate insufficiency, however, due to poor image quality, relationship between pacemaker lead and the vegetation could not be identified. Trans-esophageal echocardiogram (TEE) was then utilized for further evaluation which confirmed not only a large vegetation attaching to the tricuspid valve causing tricuspid valve insufficiency but also no thickening, adhesion or limited opening of the tricuspid valve (Figure 1 - upper panel). Further RT3D TEE confirmed a highly mobile vegetation sized 17*11*8 mm attach to posterior as well as septal leaflet of the tricuspid valve which was originated from pacemaker lead. (Figure 1 - lower panel). This patient was then underwent open heart surgical procedure done through the right atrium with cardio-pulmonary bypass and cardiac arrest. A giant vegetation originated from pace-marker lead while attaching to posterior as well as septal leaflet of the tricuspid valve was noted during intraoperative exploration which was identical to preoperative 3D TEE (Figure 2). As for this patient, extraction of the pace-marker lead, tricuspid valve replacement with bio-prosthetic valve, as well as epicardial temporary pacemaker implantation was done due to massive damage of the valve leaflet. The patient recovered fully on antibiotic administration and was discharged afebrile 4 weeks after surgery and remained stable without any sign of recurrence 3 months after discharge.
Figure 1

TEE image of this patient with pacemaker induced endocarditis of tricuspid valve. Upper panel: Mid-esophageal four chamber and aortic valve short axis views showed a mass attaching to the tricuspid valve. Lower panel: RT3D TEE confirmed highly mobile vegetation attached to posterior and septal leaflet of the tricuspid valve which was originated from pacemaker lead. During systolic phase (Left panel) the vegetation was protruding into right atrium, during diastolic phase (Right panel) the vegetation was moving back to right ventricle with tricuspid valve indicating the vegetation was attach to the tricuspid valve.

Figure 2

Intraoperative image. Intraoperative image showed a giant vegetation attaching to both the tricuspid valve originating from pacemaker lead causing perforation of the tricuspid valve which is identical to RT3D TEE image (Black arrow show).

Discussion

Infection is a serious complication of permanent pacemaker implantation. Reported incidence rates of pacemaker infection ranged from 0.13% to 19.9% [1]. Although most infections have been limited to the subcutaneous pocket, frank pacemaker endocarditis still accounts for approximately 10% of total cases with mortality rates as high as 31% to 66% if the infected device is not removed [2, 3]. Complete device removal combine with antimicrobial therapy is the only effective method which could decrease the mortality to 18% or less [4]. Study had shown that both percutaneous lead-removal and open cardiovascular surgery for complete device removal were two effective methods as for treatment of pacemaker endocarditis [5]. Compare with percutaneous lead-removal, open heart surgical removal is advocated for patient with cardiac valve evolvement and lead with large vegetation due to the possibility of dislodging emboli.

Precise delineation of pacemaker infection such as identifying the vegetation location, pacemaker lead position as well as valve pathology allows therapeutic medical and surgical treatment decisions. This process may be challenging by routine trans-thoracic echocardiography due to reverberation artifact produced by the intra-cardiac catheter [6]. Cardiac magnetic resonance is also currently not a feasible imaging option as for patients with pacemaker. In contrast, real-time 3-dimensional trans-esophageal echocardiography is able to visualize intra-cardiac catheters, including catheter tip and demonstrate precise relationships between these device and important intra-cardiac structure while without artifact associated with TTE. As shown in this case, 3D-TEE clearly delineation the location and relationship to valve structure of vegetation which was identical to direct surgical vision. Due to destruction of the tricuspid valve and giant vegetation formation, open heart surgery with complete device removal and valve replacement is the optional method as for this patient.

Conclusion

2D echocardiography could be easily interfered by artifact induced by artificial implantable device such as pacemaker wire. In contrast, RT3D TEE can provide “surgical view” class which could largely facilated the treatment strategy.

Patient informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this Case report and any accompanying images. A copy of the written consent is available for review by the Editor-in-Chief of this journal.

Abbreviations

TTE: 

Trans-thoracic echocardiography, TEE, Trans-esophageal echocardiography, RT3D TEE, Real-time three-dimensional trans-esophageal echocardiogram.

Declarations

Acknowledgements

This study was supported in part by grant No. 81370413 from the National Research Foundation of Nature Science, China.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Sichuan University, West China Hospital

References

  1. Sohail MR, Uslan DZ, Khan AH, Friedman PA, Hayes DL, Wilson WR, Steckelberg JM, Stoner S, Baddour LM: Management and outcome of permanent pacemaker and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator infections. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007, 49 (18): 1851-1859. 10.1016/j.jacc.2007.01.072.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Baddour LM, Epstein AE, Erickson CC, Knight BP, Levison ME, Lockhart PB, Masoudi FA, Okum EJ, Wilson WR, Beerman LB, Bolger AF, Estes NA, Gewitz M, Newburger JW, Schron EB, Taubert KA: Update on cardiovascular implantable electronic device infections and their management: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2010, 121 (3): 458-477. 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192665.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Klug D, Lacroix D, Savoye C, Goullard L, Grandmougin D, Hennequin JL, Kacet S, Lekieffre J: Systemic infection related to endocarditis on pacemaker leads: clinical presentation and management. Circulation. 1997, 95: 2098-2107. 10.1161/01.CIR.95.8.2098.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Cacoub P, Leprince P, Nataf P, Hausfater P, Dorent R, Wechsler B, Bors V, Pavie A, Piette JC, Gandjbakhch I: Pacemaker infective endocarditis. Am J Cardiol. 1998, 82: 480-484. 10.1016/S0002-9149(98)00365-8.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Meier-Ewert HK, Gray ME, John RM: Endocardial pacemaker or defibrillator leads with infected vegetations: a single-center experience and consequences of transvenous extraction. Am Heart J. 2003, 146: 339-344. 10.1016/S0002-8703(03)00188-1.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Naqvi TZ, Rafie R, Ghalichi M: Real-time 3D TEE for the diagnosis of right-sided endocarditis in patients with prosthetic devices. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2010, 3 (3): 325-327. 10.1016/j.jcmg.2009.11.011.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright

© Gu et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.