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Mycobacterium abscessus as a cause of pacemaker infection.

Alexander T. Kessler, Athena P. Kourtis

Med Sci Monit 2004; 10(10): CS60-62

ID: 11792

BACKGROUND: Mycobacterial infections of a pacemaker insertion site are very rare clinical events. Such infections are caused primarily by staphylococci and streptococci and, less frequently, Gram-negative organisms. CASE REPORT: We describe a case of pacemaker infection caused by Mycobacterium abscessus which is, to our knowledge, only the second such case described in the literature. The patient responded well to removal of the pacemaker wire and treatment with six months of clarithromycin. CONCLUSIONS: Mycobacteria have been very infrequently reported as causes of pacemaker infections. To our knowledge, only one case of such infection caused by M. abscessus has been described in the literature. Herein we present the second case of a patient with pacemaker infection caused by Mycobacterium abscessus. This case underscores the importance of considering atypical mycobacteria in pacemaker infections, particularly if the Gram stain or the standard cultures are negative. Removal of the contaminated foreign body seems to be an integral part of successful management.

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