Thrombectomy reduces the systemic complications in device-related right atrial septic thrombosis

Siva Prasad Sontineni, Michael White, Sindhu Singh, Amy Arouni, David Cloutier, Chandra K. Nair, Syed M. Mohiuddin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Septic thrombosis of the right atrium is an unusual complication associated with the use of indwelling devices. The optimal management of this condition is unclear. Our experience with a patient with hemodialysis catheter-related septic thrombosis of the right atrium illustrates the difficulties associated with this condition. Objectives: To determine the effects of surgical thrombectomy compared with nonsurgical treatment with antibiotics (with or without anticoagulation) on mortality rates and complications in patients with device,related septic thrombosis of the right atrium. Methods: A retrospective analysis of all reported cases of device-related right heart septic thrombosis in which therapy and outcome were reported was conducted using a PubMed search in the English-language literature (1985 to 2006). Results: Forty cases of device-related right atrial septic thromboses were reported in the literature during the chosen time period. The treatments administered were none (12.5%), antibiotics (12.5%), antibiotics and anticoagulation (20%), and thrombectomy (55%). The mean clot size was significantly larger in patients who underwent thrombectomy. All untreated patients died. Excluding the untreated patients from the analysis, systemic complications were significantly lower in the thrombectomy group than in the groups receiving nonsurgical therapies. Using multivariate modelling with survival as the primary outcome, age, sex, clot size, clot location, microbial organism or type of treatment were not predictive of the outcome. Conclusion: Device-related right atrial septic thrombosis is associated with significant mortality and is uniformly fatal if untreated. Surgical thrombectomy is associated with less frequent systemic complications. A well-designed prospective, randomized trial is needed to determine the optimal treatment of this condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e36-e41
JournalCanadian Journal of Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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