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Infective endocarditis: clinical spectrum, presentation and outcome. An analysis of 212 cases 1980–1995


OBJECTIVE To evaluate recent changes in the spectrum and clinical presentation of infective endocarditis and to determine predictors of outcome.

DESIGN A retrospective case study.

METHODS Demographic, clinical, and echocardiographic characteristics were examined in 212 patients who fulfilled the Duke criteria for infective endocarditis between January 1980 and December 1995 to assess changes in clinical presentation and survival.

RESULTS Clinical presentation and course did not change significantly during the study period despite the concurrent introduction of new diagnostic tools (for example, transoesophageal echocardiography). In-hospital mortality was 15% and remained unchanged. Neurological symptoms on admission, arthralgia, and weight loss were all independent risk factors for adverse outcome (odds ratios 26.1, 6.2, and 4.2, respectively). Age, prosthetic valve disease, previous antibiotic treatment, renal insufficiency, surgical treatment, and the type of valve involved were not predictive of mortality. In contrast to all other major reports, Streptococcus viridans was the most common causative organism in intravenous drug users (52%).

CONCLUSIONS Despite the introduction of new diagnostic tools, the course of infective endocarditis has remained unchanged over a period of 16 years. Evidence of early dissemination of the disease to other sites was associated with adverse outcome. Even in elderly patients, early aggressive treatment seems to be effective.

  • infective endocarditis
  • outcome
  • prognostic factors

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