Infective endocarditis

Thanks to Dr. Olivia Lee for letting us know of the case of this middle-aged woman with h/o endometrial cancer s/p TAH/BSO who was BIBA on a 5150 for GD after being found living in her yard.  Her medical clearance work up led to the diagnosis of endocarditis with a large abscess on the mitral valve leading to septic emboli to the brain, spleen, and kidneys as well as vitritis and endophthalmitis.  She was also noted to have an indwelling mediport with a vegetation at its tip, showering emboli into her lungs.  She successfully underwent urgent surgical replacement of her infected/destroyed valve.


Clinical Pearls

  • Use Duke’s criteria to help with your pre-test probability of endocarditis.  If patient meets criteria for definite endocarditis, consider going straight to a TEE.
  • TTE is not sensitive but highly specific for endocarditis.  However, in a patient with concerning clinical features (see next bullet point), a TEE is necessary to evaluate valve condition and plan for surgical intervention.  TTE is more useful if pre-test probability of endocarditis is low.
  • Indications for surgery
    • Valve dysfunction causing heart failure
    • Perivalvular extension with development of abscess, fistula, and/or heart block
    • Fungi or other highly resistant organisms that are difficult to treat with abx alone
    • Persistent bacteremia despite maximal treatment
    • Recurrent embolization with persistent vegetations
    • Large vegetations (>1 cm) with severe valvular regurg
    • S aureus prosthetic valve endocarditis
  • Indications for early surgery:
    • Heart failure
    • Uncontrolled infection
    • Prevention of embolic events
  • Most common cause of death in endocarditis is heart failure.

For a thorough review of endocarditis, please see our previous blog post here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s