Identification of abscess formation in native-valve infective endocarditis using transesophageal echocardiography: implications for surgical treatment

Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1991 Oct;39(5):273-80. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1019985.


The object of the study was to follow patients with endocarditis-associated abscesses in order to evaluate the clinical outcome with and without surgical intervention. Transesophageal echocardiography successfully displayed the location and extent of abscess cavities in 14 patients (group A) with aortic valve endocarditis. The infective process was limited to the perivalvular tissue in two, extended into the ascending aorta in six, and included the interventricular septum, the right ventricular outflow tract, interatrial septum, and/or mitral valve annulus in six patients. The complication rate was significantly higher in group A than in group B, which consisted of 27 patients with proven signs of endocarditis but without endocarditis-associated abscesses. The complication rates were embolic events 64.3% in group A vs 29.6% in group B, need for surgery in 64.3% vs 18.5%, and death in 50.0% vs 3.7%, respectively. The duration of fever--as a marker of an active infective process--before diagnosis and the onset of adequate treatment was significantly higher in group A than in group B (46.7 +/- 8.4 days vs 7.7 +/- 2.6 days). Organisms were isolated in 71.4% in group A and in all patients of group B. Streptococcal infections were noted in A in 54.5% vs 44.4% in B., staphylococcal in 27.3% vs 40.7%. Initial surgical repair in 9 of 14 patients in A (64.3%) included nine aortic valve and one mitral valve prosthesis implantations, two aortic valve-annulus reconstructive procedures, one dacron patch closure, and three partial resections of the aorta ascendens with end-to-end anastomosis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / diagnostic imaging*
  • Abscess / etiology
  • Abscess / surgery
  • Aortic Valve*
  • Echocardiography* / methods
  • Embolism / diagnostic imaging
  • Embolism / etiology
  • Embolism / surgery
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / complications
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / diagnostic imaging*
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / surgery
  • Esophagus
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Valve Diseases / complications
  • Heart Valve Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Valve Diseases / surgery
  • Humans
  • Mitral Valve*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / complications
  • Staphylococcal Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / surgery
  • Streptococcal Infections / complications
  • Streptococcal Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Streptococcal Infections / surgery