Background: Approximately one-third of cases of cardiovascular implantable electronic device (CIED) infection present as CIED lead infection. The precise transesophageal echocardiographic (TEE) definition and characterization of "vegetation"associated with CIED lead infection remain unclear. Methods: We identified a sample of 25 consecutive cases of CIED lead infection managed at our institution between January 2010 and December 2017. Cases of CIED lead infection were classified using standardized definitions. Similarly, a sample of 25 noninfected patients who underwent TEE that showed a defined lead echodensity during the study period was included as a control group. TEEs were reviewed by 2 independent echocardiologists who were blinded to all linked patient demographic, clinical, and microbiological information. Reported echocardiographic variables of the infected vs noninfected cases were compared, and the overall diagnostic performance was analyzed. Results: Descriptions of lead echodensities were variable and there were no significant differences in median echodensity diameter or mobility between infected vs noninfected groups. Among infected cases, blinded echocardiogram reports by either reviewer correctly made a prediction of infection in 6 of 25 (24%). Interechocardiologist agreement was 68%. Sensitivity of blinded TEEs ranged from 31.5% to 37.5%. Conclusions: Infectious vs noninfectious lead echodensities could not be reliably distinguished on the basis of size, mobility, and general shape descriptors obtained from a retrospective blinded TEE examination without knowledge of clinical and microbiological parameters. Therefore, a reanalysis of criteria used to support a diagnosis of CIED lead infection may be warranted.
- cardiac implantable electronic device-associated lead infection
- transesophageal echocardiography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases