Therapy and Outcome of Staphylococcus aureus Infections of Intracorporeal Ventricular Assist Devices

Miquel B. Ekkelenkamp*, Mats T. Vervoorn, Jumamurat R. Bayjanov, Ad C. Fluit, Barry J. Benaissa-Trouw, Faiz Z. Ramjankhan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Infection of the driveline or pump pocket is a common complication in patients with ventricular assist devices (VADs) and Staphylococcus aureus is the main pathogen causing such infections. Limited evidence is currently available to guide the choice of antibiotic therapy and the duration of treatment in these patients. Patients at the University Medical Center Utrecht who developed a VAD-related S. aureus infection between 2007 and 2016 were retrospectively assessed. Blood culture isolates were typed by whole genome sequencing to differentiate between relapses and reinfections, and to determine whether antibiotic therapy had led to acquisition of resistance mutations. Twenty-eight patients had S. aureus VAD infections. Ten of these patients also suffered S. aureus bacteremia. Discontinuation of antibiotic therapy was followed by relapse in 50% of the patients without prior S. aureus bacteremia and in 80% of patients with bacteremia. Oral cephalexin could ultimately suppress the infection for the duration of follow-up in 8/8 patients without S. aureus bacteremia and in 3/6 patients with S. aureus bacteremia. Clindamycin failed as suppressive therapy in 4/4 patients. Cephalexin appears an adequate choice for antibiotic suppression of VAD infections with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus. In patients without systemic symptoms, it may be justified to attempt to stop therapy after treatment of the acute infection, but antibiotic suppression until heart transplant seems indicated in patients with S. aureus bacteremia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-991
Number of pages9
JournalArtificial Organs
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Bacteremia
  • Cephalexin
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Suppression therapy
  • Ventricular assist device infection


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