Introduction and objectives: The present study was made to investigate the degree of discordance between the recommendations of clinical guidelines and actual practice in the care of patients with infectious endocarditis.
Material and methods: Data was gathered on 34 patients that were admitted to our hospital for native valve infection over a 4-year period. The degree of discordance (%) was obtained by comparing each clinical history with a catalog of 15 specific actions recommended in the clinical guidelines for four consecutive phases: pre-diagnosis, hospital diagnosis, antibiotic treatment, and surgical treatment. A system was constructed, scoring each phase with the greatest detected error (on a severity scale of 0 to 8 points) and adding together the scores for the four phases.
Results: The mean degree of discordance was 30.5% (range, 0-66%). Scores of more than six points were clearly associated with an unfavourable evolution.
Conclusions: The recommendations of clinical guidelines for infectious endocarditis are inadequately followed in practice, which can affect the course of the disease. It is necessary to increase adherence to clinical guidelines in practice, in order to improve the care of patients with this serious disease.