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Valvular heart diseases
Non-infective endocarditis
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  • Published on:
    Response to: “Non-infective endocarditis”
    • Amit K J Mandal, Consultant Physician Wexham Park Hospital, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
    • Other Contributors:
      • Constantinos G Missouris, Consultant Physician and Professor of Cardiology

    TO THE EDITOR:

    We read with interest the review of non-infective endocarditis by Hurrell et al. [1] and would like to report our experience. We recently reported the case of an asymptomatic, hypertensive 36-year-old man who was found to have a mobile structure attached to the posterior mitral valve leaflet causing moderate eccentric regurgitation on routine echocardiography [2]. Extensive workup was only notable for strongly positive cardiolipin IgG and IgM antibodies and lupus anticoagulant suggesting a diagnosis of antiphospholipid antibody (APLA) syndrome. We referred the patient for surgical intervention (excision and mitral valve repair with a bovine pericardial patch) and this also allowed us to achieve a diagnosis. Histological features were typical of nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis (NBTE) with fibrin deposits, inflammatory cells and erythrocytes and confirmed an underlying diagnosis of primary APLA syndrome.
    The association of APLA syndrome with or without autoimmune disease increases prothrombotic tendency and these patients therefore have a higher likelihood of NBTE which can remain clinically silent. We therefore propose that transthoracic echocardiography should be used as a screening and surveillance tool for NBTE in all patients who are found to have primary or secondary APLA syndrome and potentially in patients with autoimmune disease and hypercoaguable states. We also emphasize consideration of a histological diagnosis when there is diagn...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.