Introduction: Drive line infections (DLIs) are common complications of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). Data on use of suppression antibiotic therapy are limited. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of 451 patients who underwent LVAD placement from January 2009 to May 2015. First superficial DLIs were included for analysis. We examined factors associated with the use of chronic suppressive antibiotics (CSAs) therapy. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to identify factors associated with DLI relapse with the same organism as the initial DLI. Results: A total of 69 patients developed a superficial DLI within a median of 195 (interquartile range [IQR] 98–348) days of LVAD insertion. The median age was 57 years, 87% were males, and 74% were White. Gram positive bacteria caused 61% of infections, with Staphylococcus aureus being the most common (35%). Forty-three (62%) patients received suppressive antibiotic therapy. Relapse DLI occurred in 29 (42%) patients. Independent risk factors for relapse infection in multivariable analysis were sepsis (aHR 5.94 [CI 1.42–24.92]), and MRSA DLI (aHR 4.19 [CI 1.37–12.79]). There was no difference in the proportion of patients with relapse among those who were treated with antibiotic suppression therapy versus not (44% vs. 38%, p = 0.64), although relapse occurred at a later time in those who received suppression (185 vs. 69 days, p < 0.01). Conclusion: CSA therapy was associated with delayed time to DLI relapse but no significant difference in the proportion of patients with relapse. A prospective study is needed to examine the effect of suppression on relapse rates.
- LVAD infection
- antimicrobial suppressive therapy
- drive line infection
- left ventricular assist device