Background: The incidence of bacterial endocarditis is much greater in long-term dialysis patients compared with the general population, and chronic kidney disease has been postulated as an independent host-related risk factor. Limited data are available on the long-term survival of dialysis patients with endocarditis.
Methods: Dialysis patients hospitalized for bacterial endocarditis between 1977 and 2000 were studied retrospectively using data from the US Renal Data System database. Long-term survival was estimated by means of the life-table method. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to identify the impact of demographic characteristics and comorbidity on outcome.
Results: A total of 13,130 dialysis patients with bacterial endocarditis were identified. The in-hospital mortality rate for the entire cohort was 23.5%. Survival rates at 1, 2, 3, and 5 years were 45.9%, 33.3%, 24.3%, and 14.7% for patients hospitalized between 1977 and 1991 and 41.0%, 29.1%, 20.6%, and 10.9% for those hospitalized between 1992 and 1996, respectively. Survival rates at 1, 2, and 3 years were 38.4%, 25.3%, and 18.3% for patients hospitalized between 1997 and 2000, respectively. The most powerful independent predictors of all-cause death were age, diabetes as cause of end-stage renal disease, and cerebrovascular accident or transient ischemic attack as a comorbid condition.
Conclusion: Dialysis patients with bacterial endocarditis have poor long-term survival, even in the current treatment era, with survival rates changing little in the past 2 decades. Additional studies are needed to identify risk-reduction measures and develop additional treatment strategies for dialysis patients with endocarditis.