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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2006 Aug;58(2):273-80. Epub 2006 May 30.

Linezolid for the treatment of patients with endocarditis: a systematic review of the published evidence.

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Alfa Institute of Biomedical Sciences (AIBS) Athens, Greece.



Linezolid is a bacteriostatic oxazolidinone antibiotic that has been proven to be effective for the treatment of patients with pneumonia, skin and soft tissue infections, and possibly bacteraemia, due to Gram-positive cocci. However, the drug is sometimes used for the treatment of patients with endocarditis due to Gram-positive cocci resistant to other antibiotics.


We carried out a review of the available literature to evaluate whether linezolid is also effective for the treatment of patients with infective endocarditis.


We identified 23 case reports and 3 case series reporting the experience with 56 patients with endocarditis treated with linezolid. Evaluable data for 33 patients who received linezolid and for whom individual patient data were reported were further analysed. Prosthetic valve infective endocarditis accounted for 25% of the reviewed cases. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus were the most commonly isolated cocci (24.2% and 30.3% of cases, respectively). Linezolid alone was administered to 66.7% of patients while the rest received the antibiotic in combination with rifampicin, gentamicin, fusidic acid or amikacin. A total of 63.6% (21/33) of patients with endocarditis were cured after linezolid administration. The overall and endocarditis-related mortality was 33.3% (11/33) and 12.1% (4/33), respectively. Thrombocytopenia developed in 30.8% (8/26) of patients for whom relevant data were available.


The limited available evidence suggests that linezolid may be considered as a therapeutic option for the treatment of patients with endocarditis due to multidrug-resistant Gram-positive cocci. However, further published experience is needed to answer the question of whether a bacteriostatic antibiotic could be proven beneficial for patients with an infection for which bactericidal antibiotics have been traditionally used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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