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Eur Heart J. 1995 Apr;16 Suppl B:39-47.

Late prosthetic valve endocarditis.

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Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, Germany.


Prosthetic valve endocarditis remains an extremely serious complication, with a low but increasing incidence. 'Late' endocarditis, occurring more than 60 days after surgery, is relatively infrequently associated with staphylococci, Gram-negative bacteria and fungi so characteristic of the endocarditis that occurs earlier. A probable source of infection can be found in 25%-80% of patients, the most frequent causes being dental procedures, urological infections and interventions, and indwelling catheters. The most common organisms are S. epidermidis, S. aureus, viridans streptococci and enterococci. The general principles of antibiotic treatment are similar to those for native valve endocarditis, but antibiotic treatment needs to be more prolonged and dosages should be used which result in maximal, nontoxic concentrations. Oral anticoagulants should be stopped and replaced by intravenous heparins. Surgical reintervention is called for if there are large highly mobile vegetations in the mitral position or within 72 h if there are cerebral thrombo-embolic episodes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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