Anticoagulant therapy and central nervous system complications in patients with prosthetic valve endocarditis.
Among 52 cases of prosthetic valve endocarditis, adequate anticoagulant therapy was administered in 38 and discontinued or given in subtherapeutic dosage in 14. Our data suggest that anticoagulant therapy does not appreciably increase morbidity or mortality in patients with prosthetic valve endocarditis. On the contrary, in our patients the incidence of major clinical CNS (central nervous system) complications was increased and the mortality was higher if anticoagulant therapy was discontinued. CNS complications occurred in 10 of the 14 patients without adequate anticoagulant therapy and in three of the 38 with adequate anticoagulant therapy. Mortality was 57% among those treated without adequate anticoagulation and 47% among those with adequate anticoagulation. At autopsy, CNS complications were thought to be the primary cause of five of the eight deaths in cases without adequate anticoagulation.
- Copyright © 1978 by American Heart Association