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.
- 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.