Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Herz. 1983 Dec;8(6):320-31.

Prosthetic valve endocarditis: an overview.


Infection of an intracardiac prosthesis, the incidence of which is about 2.5% among patients having undergone valve replacement, is a serious complication with considerable morbidity and mortality. Early prosthetic valve endocarditis (PVE), with an onset within 60 days of valve replacement, accounts for approximately one-third of all cases, while the remaining two-thirds, occur more than two months postoperatively (late prosthetic valve endocarditis). Prosthetic valve endocarditis is most commonly caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis, less frequently by viridans streptococci, Staphylococcus aureus, and gram-negative bacilli. The most likely pathogenetic mechanisms in prosthetic valve endocarditis are intraoperative contamination and postoperative infections at extracardiac sites. Prominent clinical features include fever, new or changing heart murmurs, leukocytosis, anemia and hematuria. The etiologic microorganism can be isolated in more than 90% of all cases. Patients with proven prosthetic valve endocarditis should be examined daily to detect signs of congestive heart failure and changes in murmurs; electrocardiographic monitoring is essential for documentation of arrhythmias. With limitations, echocardiography, especially two-dimensional, may help to demonstrate vegetations or valvular dehiscence. Cinefluoroscopy may reveal loosening or dehiscence of the sewing ring or impaired motion of a radio-opaque poppet due to thrombus or vegetation. Cardiac catheterization, not always necessary even when surgical intervention is anticipated, may provide valuable information on the degree of dysfunction, multiple valve involvement, left ventricular function and extent of concomitant coronary artery disease. In patients with mechanical valves, prosthetic valve endocarditis may be associated with a high incidence of valve ring and myocardial abscesses; the reported frequency of valve ring abscesses is lower with porcine heterografts. Infections on mechanical valves characteristically localize to the sewing ring with subsequent detachment of the prosthesis and valvular incompetence; infections on porcine heterografts tend to localize to the cusps, leading to valvular incompetence because of leaflet destruction. Large vegetations may result in functional stenosis. Over the last ten years the overall mortality of prosthetic valve endocarditis was 53.8%; 73.6% in early and 43% in late prosthetic valve endocarditis. More recently, however, the survival rate appears to be improving. In general, the mortality associated with prosthetic valve endocarditis caused by fungi and Staphylococcus aureus is highest and that of streptococci lowest.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center