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Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Jan;32(1):50-62. Epub 2000 Dec 12.

Fungal endocarditis: evidence in the world literature, 1965-1995.

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Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.


We analyzed 270 cases of fungal endocarditis (FE) that occurred over 30 years. Vascular lines, non-cardiac surgery, immunocompromise and injection drug abuse are increasing risk factors. Delayed or mistaken diagnosis (82% of patients), long duration of symptoms before hospitalization (mean +/- standard deviation, 32+/-39 days) and extracardiac manifestations were characteristic. From 1988 onwards, 72% of patients were diagnosed preoperatively, compared with 43% before 1988 (P=.0001). The fungi most commonly isolated were Candida albicans (24% of patients), non-albicans species of Candida (24%), Apergillus species (24%), and Histoplasma species (6%); recently-emerged fungi accounted for 25% of cases. The mortality rate was 72%. Survival rates were better among patients who received combined surgical-antifungal treatment, were infected with Candida, and had univalvular involvement. Improvement in the survival rate (from <20% before 1974 to 41% currently) coincided with the introduction of echocardiography and with improved diagnostic acumen. Fungal endocarditis recurs in 30% of survivors. It is recommended that fungal endocarditis be diagnosed early through heightened diagnostic acumen; that patients be treated with combined lipid-based amphotericin B and early surgery; and that patients be followed up for > or =4 years while on prophylactic antifungal therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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