Lege Artis Medicinae

[AGRESSIVE STRATEGIES IN THE TREATMENT OF INFECTIVE ENDOCARDITIS]

LENGYEL Mária

OCTOBER 20, 2003

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2003;13(07)

[Without treatment, infective endocarditis (IE) is a fatal disease and in spite of contemporary diagnostic and therapeutic tools its prognosis is still poor. The most important first step is the early rise of clinical suspicion which should be confirmed by the new clinical criteria. Echocardiography is a major criterium: transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is superior to transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) both in the diagnosis and in the detection of complications of infective endocarditis. Complications can be valvular (embolism, valvular dysfunction) or perivalvular (abscess, pseudoaneurysm formation) with hemodynamic consequences. TEE is recommended as the first line diagnostic technique (mostly in prosthetic valve infective endocarditis) or as a second study following negative TTE or positive TTE with high clinical risk factors or to define embolic risk. In addition to classical surgical indications, early ”preventive” indications are emphasized which can decrease the still high operative mortality. Improvement of outcome in infective endocarditis can only be expected with agressive management meaning early suspicion, early TEE and early operation.]

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