Background: Infective endocarditis is one of the most serious complications of bacteremia in patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis and is more frequent than previously recognized. The aim of our study was to describe the clinical characteristics, outcome, and factors predicting mortality of infective endocarditis in hemodialysis patients.
Methods: In this retrospective review, all patients on chronic hemodialysis admitted to a 600-bed urban teaching hospital with infective endocarditis over a 15-year period (1990 to 2004), were identified using discharge codes. Modified Duke criteria were retrospectively applied, and patients fulfilling the criteria for definite endocarditis were included in the study.
Results: Sixty-nine patients on hemodialysis with definite endocarditis were identified. The predominant type of vascular access was double-lumen catheter (66.7%). The mean duration of dialysis was 37 +/- 32 months. The predominant organism was Staphylococcus aureus (57.9%), of which 57.5% were methicillin susceptible. The most frequently infected valve was mitral (49.3%), followed by aortic (21.7%) and tricuspid (10.1%) valves. The cardiac and neurologic complication rates were 40.6% and 37.7%, respectively. Fifteen patients underwent valvular heart surgery. The overall in-hospital mortality was 49.3% (34 of 69). More patients who had surgery survived than patients who did not (12 of 15 versus 23 of 54; p = 0.018, odds ratio = 5.39, 95% confidence interval: 1.3 to 17.6). On logistic regression, valve surgery was the only independent factor predicting survival (p = 0.023).
Conclusions: The prognosis of infective endocarditis in hemodialysis patients is poor, with surgery serving as an independent predictor of survival.