- •Staphylococcus Aureus infection is an independent predictor of systemic embolism.
- •Operated patients with complicated IE had a similar outcome as uncomplicated ones.
- •Survival rate was better for early compared to delayed surgery
In patients with left-sided infective endocarditis (IE) and heart failure associated with large vegetations, early surgery prevents embolic events. However, optimal timing of surgery for other indications is still unresolved particularly when the presence of large vegetations represents the sole indication.
We retrospectively analyzed 308 consecutive patients admitted to our department with definite left-sided IE. Of these patients, 243 (79%) underwent cardiac surgery (complicated IE), 34 patients with uncomplicated IE received medical treatment, 24 were not operated due to prohibitive general conditions and 7 refused surgery. Long-term follow-up was obtained by structured telephone interviews.
During the 6-year follow-up (average 121.8 weeks ± 76), patients not operated because of general conditions or refusal had the worst prognosis, while outcome in operated patients for complicated IE was comparable to that of uncomplicated IE treated medically. Early (<2 weeks from diagnosis) surgery was associated with better survival compared to delayed surgery (HR 0.58, p = 0.23). Embolic events were detected at admission in 38% of cases; Staphylococcus Aureus etiology and vegetation size were independently associated with embolism (OR 2.4, p = 0.01; OR 1, p=0.008 respectively).
Compared to uncomplicated medically-treated patients, complicated IE showed comparable survival when managed aggressively by surgical intervention, whereas a conservative approach was associated with an adverse prognosis. Staphylococcus Aureus infection and vegetation size were independent predictors of systemic embolism. Our data support aggressive surgical management of complicated IE patients and highlight the importance of etiological characterization in clinical decision-making.
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Published online: April 18, 2020
Accepted: April 4, 2020
Received in revised form: March 13, 2020
Received: January 19, 2020
© 2020 European Federation of Internal Medicine. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.