A collaborative study of infective endocarditis in the 1970s. Emphasis on infections in patients who have undergone cardiovascular surgery.
Twenty-six major cardiovascular centers participated in a cooperative study of all cases of infective endocarditis occurring during a single calendar year to obtain an overview of infective endocarditis. The study was designed to learn which patients appear to be at highest risk to develop this infection after palliative or reparative cardiovascular surgery. Of 278 patients developing infective endocarditis during the year at these medical centers, 63 (23%) had had previous cardiovascular surgery and 215 had not. Seventy percent of the 278 patients had recognized congenital or acquired heart disease before developing the infection. Rheumatic heart disease accounted for over half of the patients with underlying structural heart disease. A majority (55%) of the 63 patients who had been operated on before developing endocarditis had prosthetic valves inserted. Of those who did not require prosthetic valves, the majority had congenital heart disease with systemic artery-to-pulmonary artery shunts. Although these data were obtained from a selected group of patients, they confirm a significant risk of endocarditis in patients with prosthetic valves and suggest that in postoperative patients with non-valvular congenital heart disease, the highest risk appears to be in cyanotic patients with palliative pulmonary artery-to-systemic artery shunts.
- Copyright © 1979 by American Heart Association