Deep Brain Stimulator Device Infection: The Mayo Clinic Rochester Experience

Hussam Tabaja, Jason Yuen, Don Bambino Geno Tai, Cristina Corsini Campioli, Supavit Chesdachai, Daniel C DeSimone, Anhar Hassan, Bryan T Klassen, Kai J Miller, Kendall H Lee, Maryam Mahmood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Deep brain stimulator (DBS)-related infection is a recognized complication that may significantly alter the course of DBS therapy. We describe the Mayo Clinic Rochester experience with DBS-related infections.

METHODS: This was a retrospective study of all adults (≥18 years old) who underwent DBS-related procedures between 2000 and 2020 at the Mayo Clinic Rochester.

RESULTS: There were 1087 patients who underwent 1896 procedures. Infection occurred in 57/1112 (5%) primary DBS implantations and 16/784 (2%) revision surgeries. The median time to infection (interquartile range) was 2.1 (0.9-6.9) months. The odds of infection were higher with longer operative length ( P = .002), higher body mass index (BMI; P = .006), male sex ( P = .041), and diabetes mellitus ( P = .002). The association between infection and higher BMI ( P = .002), male sex ( P = .016), and diabetes mellitus ( P = .003) remained significant in a subgroup analysis of primary implantations but not revision surgeries. Infection was superficial in 17 (23%) and deep in 56 (77%) cases. Commonly identified pathogens were Staphylococcus aureus (65%), coagulase-negative staphylococci (43%), and Cutibacterium acnes (45%). Three device management approaches were identified: 39 (53%) had complete device explantation, 20 (27%) had surgical intervention with device retention, and 14 (19%) had medical management alone. Treatment failure occurred in 16 (23%) patients. Time-to-event analysis showed fewer treatment failures with complete device explantation ( P = .015). Only 1 individual had complications with brain abscess at failure.

CONCLUSIONS: Primary DBS implantations had higher rates of infection compared with revision surgeries. Complete device explantation was favored for deep infections. However, device salvage was commonly attempted and is a reasonable approach in select cases given the low rate of complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)ofac631
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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