Rare infection of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator lead with Candida albicans: Case report and literature review

Nina Thakkar Rivera, Natasha Bray, Hong Wang, Kenneth Zelnick, Ricardo Vicuña, Ahmed Osman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Infection of implanted cardiac devices has a low rate of occurrence. Fungal infections of such devices represent an atypical phenomenon, associated with high mortality. Both medical and surgical therapies are recommended for a successful outcome. A 60-year-old woman with past medical history of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) placement, sarcoidosis and diabetes presented with fevers and atypical pleuritic chest pain. Transthoracic echocardiogram revealed a highly mobile 2.09 cm by 4.49 cm mass associated with the ICD wire. Blood cultures were positive for Candida albicans. The patient underwent sternotomy for removal. The vegetation was 4 cm by 2 cm by 2 cm in size, attached to the right ventricle without interference with the tricuspid valve. The patient was treated with micafungin for 2 weeks and then fluconazole for 6 weeks. In this case report, we describe the rare infection of an ICD lead with C. albicans, in the form of a fungal ball. This is the 18th reported case of Candida device-related endocarditis and the first reported in a woman. Prior case reports have occurred primarily in pacemaker rather than ICD leads. The vegetation size is also one of the largest that has been reported, measuring 4 cm at its greatest length. As Candida device-related endocarditis is so rare, and as fatality occurs in half of cases, clinical management can only be derived from sporadic case reports. Therefore, the course of this patient’s disease care will be a useful adjunct to the current literature for determining treatment and prognosis in similar cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-201
Number of pages9
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Cardiovascular Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2014


  • Candida albicans
  • endocarditis
  • implantable cardioverter defibrillator
  • pacemaker


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