DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.17614 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 17614: “Watchful Waiting” - Successful Medical Management of an Infected Watchman Device

Amitoj Sachdeva, Kailash Pant, Yogesh K Agarwal, Amit Mehrotra, Chetan Bhardwaj
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Description of Case: A 68-year-old male with a past medical history of alcoholic cirrhosis, ischemic cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, and sick sinus syndrome presented with exertional dyspnea and lower extremity edema consistent with acutely decompensated systolic heart failure. He had multiple implantable cardiac devices including a watchman device. He was subsequently found to have methicillin-sensitive staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) bacteremia and developed sepsis. A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) was done to evaluate for infective endocarditis and a 1 cm mobile echodensity attached to the anterior aspect of the watchman device was found. Given active bacteremia, the echocardiographic appearance was felt to be most likely consistent with a vegetation. Due to significant medical and cardiac comorbidities, device extraction was deemed very high risk and deferred in favor of antibiotic therapy by a multi-disciplinary team. The patient was treated with intravenous cefazolin and oral rifampin. Clinical defervescence and clearance of bacteremia were achieved. A follow-up TEE in 6 weeks showed complete resolution of the watchman device vegetation.

Discussion: Cardiac implantable devices provide significant morbidity and mortality benefits to patients but incur the potential risk of infection. Watchman device infection, though rare, has been reported. The current guidelines recommend the removal of all hardware in patients with established device infection. However, percutaneous, or surgical extraction of the watchman device bears significant risk and may not be feasible in all patients. Our case demonstrates the potential role of antimicrobial therapy alone with close surveillance in treating high-risk patients with watchman device infection.

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