Chlamydial endocarditis: a report on ten cases

Eur Heart J. 1992 Oct;13(10):1422-6. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.eurheartj.a060077.


Over the period 1983-1990, 10 cases of infective native-valve endocarditis as a result of Chlamydia were seen. All patients were men, with a mean age of 42 years, and none had a history of exposure to Chlamydia psittaci. Symptoms, such as weight loss and anorexia, with fever in eight cases, had persisted for at least 2 months before admission. Haemodynamic failure was present in seven patients, and neurological signs in four. The aortic valve was involved in seven cases, the mitral valve in one and both valves in two. Vegetations, often fingerlike, were observed by echocardiography in nine cases. All patients required valve replacement, and three died in the year following diagnosis. Blood cultures were consistently negative in all cases, and no antibiotics had been given before admission. Significant titres of complement fixing anti-chlamydial antibodies were present in six cases, and micro-immunofluorescence using the three chlamydial species showed cross-reacting antibodies in all nine cases studied, with transient IgM positivity in six cases. Histologically, the leaflets were fibrosed and infiltrated by large macrophages containing dark red granules after Machiavello staining. These granules were specifically stained by immunofluorescence using monoclonal antibody to Chlamydia common antigen, but not by that specific for C. pneumoniae. No organisms were seen after Gram staining, and no positive chlamydial immunofluorescence was seen on sections of valves from patients with staphylococcal or streptococcal endocarditis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis
  • Aortic Valve
  • Chlamydia / immunology
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia Infections / immunology
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / diagnosis*
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / immunology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Heart Valve Diseases / diagnosis
  • Heart Valve Diseases / immunology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitral Valve


  • Antibodies, Bacterial