META-ANALYSIS
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Antibiotic prophylaxis for permanent pacemaker implantation: a meta-analysis.

Circulation 1998 May 13
BACKGROUND: Infection remains a serious complication after permanent pacemaker implantation. Antibiotic prophylaxis is frequently prescribed at the time of insertion to reduce its incidence, although results of well-designed, controlled studies are lacking.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed a meta-analysis of all available randomized trials to evaluate the effectiveness of antibiotic prophylaxis to reduce infection rates after permanent pacemaker implantation. Reports of trials were identified through a Medline, Embase, Current Contents, and an extensive bibliography search. Trials that met the following criteria were included: (1) prospective, randomized, controlled, open or blind trials; (2) patients assigned to a systemic antibiotic group or a control group; (3) end point events related to any infection after pacemaker implantation: wound infection, septicemia, pocket abscess, purulent secretion, right infective endocarditis, inflammatory signs, a positive culture, septic pulmonary embolism, or repeat operation for an infective complication. Seven trials met the inclusion criteria. They included 2023 patients with established permanent pacemaker implantation (new implants or replacements). The incidence of end point events in control groups ranged from 0% to 12%. The meta-analysis suggested a consistent protective effect of antibiotic pretreatment (P=.0046; common odds ratio: 0.256, 95% confidence interval: 0.10 to 0.656).

CONCLUSIONS: Results of the present meta-analysis suggest that systemic antibiotic prophylaxis significantly reduces the incidence of potentially serious infective complications after permanent pacemaker implantation. They support the use of prophylactic antibiotics at the time of pacemaker insertion to prevent short-term pocket infection, skin erosion or septicemia.

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