• systematic review;
  • meta-analysis;
  • infection;
  • antimicrobial prophylaxis;
  • cardiac rhythm management devices

Background: Surgical site infections (SSIs) resulting from cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) implantation cause significant morbidity and mortality, and are increasing at a disproportionately higher rate than the rate of CIED implantation. The prophylactic administration of antibiotics and antiseptics can reduce this infection rate.

The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine whether the prophylactic administration of antibiotics and antiseptics in patients undergoing CIED implantation reduces the incidence of SSI in randomized controlled trials.

We searched the Cochrane Wounds Group Specialized Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 2), Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, and EBSCO CINAHL. No date or language restrictions were applied.

Methods: Two review authors independently screened papers for inclusion, assessed risk of bias, and extracted data using a data collection form. Data were pooled where appropriate.

Results: Fifteen studies (3,970 participants) were included in this review. For patients undergoing a CIED implant, perioperative systemic antibiotics (PSA) plus antiseptics delivered 1 hour before the procedure significantly reduced the incidence of SSI compared with no antibiotics (risk ratio [RR] 0.13; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.05–0.36; P value < 0.00001). Furthermore, PSA plus antiseptics significantly reduced the incidence of postoperative infection compared to antibiotics delivered postoperatively (RR 0.14; 95% CI 0.03–0.60; P value 0.008).

Conclusion: The evidence strongly suggests that antibiotic prophylaxis within 1 hour before CIED implantation is effective at reducing SSI. (PACE 2012; 35:1348–1360)