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Eur Heart J. 2007 Jan;28(2):196-203. Epub 2006 Dec 7.

Infective endocarditis: changing epidemiology and predictors of 6-month mortality: a prospective cohort study.

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Department of Internal Medicine-Infectious Diseases, K.U. Leuven, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuve Belgium.



The aim here is to analyse epidemiology, optimal treatment, and predictors of 6-month mortality in infective endocarditis (IE).


A prospective observational cohort study included 193 patients with 203 episodes of definite IE by the modified Duke criteria. Thirty-four percent of episodes involved prosthetic valves. Thirty-three percent of episodes were nosocomial. Forty-three percent included staphylococci, 26% streptococci, and 17% enterococci. At least one complication occurred in 79% of the episodes and 63% had surgical intervention. Six-month mortality was 22%: 33% for staphylococci, 24% for enterococci, and 8% for streptococci. Seventy-four percent of patients with a contraindication to surgery died when compared with 7% with medical treatment without a contraindication and 16% with surgical treatment. In multivariable logistic regression, predictors of 6-month mortality were age (P=0.03), the causative microorganism (P=0.04), and treatment group (P<0.001).


Compared with older series, we observed more prosthetic valve IE, nosocomial IE, and surgery. Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis were predominant microorganisms. Age, staphylococci, and a contraindication to surgery predicted 6-month mortality. Nearly half of deaths had a contraindication to surgery. Six-month mortality did not differ significantly between patients who received surgical treatment as against those who received medical treatment without a contraindication to surgery.

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