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Original research
Endocarditis risk with bioprosthetic and mechanical valves: systematic review and meta-analysis
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  • Published on:
    Specification of criteria for diagnosis of prosthetic valve endocarditis is fundamental

    A review of comparative incidence of infective endocarditis in bioprosthetic vs mechanical valves (1) can only be complete if there is a clear statement of the criteria for the diagnosis of infective endocarditis. An important characteristic of prosthetic valve endocarditis is that "the diagnosis[of endocarditis] is more difficult in the presence of a prosthetic valve when compared with a native valve" due to the fact that "the Duke criteria have been shown to be less helpful in prosthetic valve endocarditis because of lower sensitivity in this setting"(2). Furthermore,
    the diagnostic accuracy of some imaging modalities is suboptimal in prosthetic valve endocarditis(3). According to the latter review , among patients with suspected prosthetic valve endocarditis sensitivity of transthoracic echocardiography can be as low as 17%-36%. For transoesophageal echocardiography(TOE) that parameter increases to 82-96%, the latter statistic comparable to the sensitivity associated with 18 Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/CT(PET/CT). Also in the context of prosthetic valve endocarditis, TOE and PET/CT also have comparable specificities in the range 80-96%(3). The major limitation of TOE is that it is invasive and also operator dependent. By contrast PET/CT not only increases the sensitivity of the modified Duke criteria from 70% to 97%(without affecting specificity) but that modality also identifies metastatic septic embol...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.