Brucella endocarditis (BE) is a rare but life-threatening complication of human brucellosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the course of BE along with the therapeutic interrelations. A total of 53 patients with BE hospitalised in 19 health institutions between 2006 and 2011 were included in the Gulhane study. Diagnosis of brucellosis was established by either isolation of Brucella sp. or the presence of antibodies, and the definition of endocarditis was made according to Duke's criteria. There were four treatment groups: ceftriaxone combined with oral antibiotics (Group 1); aminoglycosides combined with oral antibiotics (Group 2); oral antibiotic combinations (Group 3); and aminoglycoside plus ceftriaxone combined with an oral antibiotic (Group 4). Involvement rates of the aortic, mitral and tricuspid valves were 49.1%, 43.4% and 5.7%, respectively. Thirty-two patients (60.4%) had an underlying cardiac valvular problem, including previous prosthetic valve replacement (n=18). Medical treatment was provided to 32 patients (60.4%), whilst concordant medical and surgical approaches were provided to 21 patients (39.6%). Mortality in Group 1 was 15% (3/20), whilst in Group 2 it was 5.3% (1/19). In Group 3, 25.0% (3/12) of the cases died, whereas none of the cases in Group 4 died. In conclusion, mortality increased 47-fold with pericardial effusion and 25-fold due to congestive heart failure that developed after BE. Although mortality was lower in the aminoglycoside-containing arm (Groups 2 and 4), statistical analysis could not be performed owing to the small number of patients.
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