J Card Surg. 2021 Oct 1. doi: 10.1111/jocs.16040. Online ahead of print.
The use of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) is increasingly more common as the availability of donor organs in relation to failing hearts is outstandingly limited. Infections are the most common complications in LVAD recipients, particularly those caused by Staphylococcus spp. Refractory LVAD-related infections are not uncommon as achieving adequate source control is often not feasible before heart transplantation. Evidence suggest that cefazolin plus ertapenem is effective in refractory methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) bacteremia, but this approach has not been described in LVAD recipients. In this article, we report two cases of refractory MSSA bacteremia in LVAD recipients that were successfully treated with salvage therapy with cefazolin plus ertapenem and subsequent heart transplantation. This treatment strategy should be considered in patients with refractory LVAD-associated infection due to MSSA that are not responding to standard treatment.