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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1986 Oct;92(4):784-9.

Prosthetic valve endocarditis. The case for prompt surgical management.


Clinical and morphologic features are described in 27 patients with prosthetic valve endocarditis. The interval from valve replacement to onset of symptoms of prosthetic valve endocarditis was less than 2 months in 10 patients, longer than 2 months but less than 6 months in seven patients, and longer than 6 months in 10 patients. The most frequent infecting organism was Staphylococcus (11 patients). In nearly all patients, infection spread behind the site of attachment of the valve prosthesis and resulted in valve ring abscesses. Twenty-three of the 28 infected prostheses were partially or almost completely detached, and in 15 patients the infection destroyed the entire valve anulus, burrowing to adjacent structures in six. Despite prolonged bactericidal antibiotic therapy, bacterial cultures of prosthetic valves removed at operation or autopsy were positive in 14 patients. Standard valve replacement was attempted in nine patients. All were hospital survivors, but two of these patients evidenced rapid postoperative valve dehiscence and required a complex surgical procedure at reoperation. The 14 other surgically treated patients had almost complete destruction of the annular root, and surgical repair was achieved by complex surgical techniques. There were five postoperative deaths, but nine patients survived with no further evidence of infection (mean follow-up 34 months). All patients with early prosthetic valve endocarditis who recovered underwent this type of operative technique. Total exclusion of the infected annular root, as described, may offer in patients with extensive endocarditic lesions the only possibility to eradicate the infection and to reduce the mortality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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