Prognostic value of skin manifestations of infective endocarditis

JAMA Dermatol. 2014 May;150(5):494-500. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.8727.


Importance: Infective endocarditis (IE) is a rare disease with poor prognosis. When IE is suspected, skin examination is mandatory to look for a portal of entry and classic skin lesions to help diagnose and manage the condition.

Objectives: To describe the prevalence of and factors associated with dermatological manifestations in patients with definite IE.

Design: Observational, prospective, population-based epidemiological study between January 1 and December 31, 2008. Subsequently, collected dermatological data were subjected to post hoc analysis.

Setting and participants: Patients (n = 497) diagnosed in 7 French regions and hospitalized in France for definite IE satisfying modified Duke criteria.

Main outcomes and measures: Patient and disease epidemiological information was collected, focusing on the most classic dermatological manifestations of IE (Osler nodes, Janeway lesions, purpura, and conjunctival hemorrhages). Disease outcome was also recorded.

Results: Among 497 definite IE cases, 487 had known dermatological status. Of 487 cases, 58 (11.9%) had skin manifestations, including 39 (8.0%) with purpura, 13 (2.7%) with Osler nodes, 8 (1.6%) with Janeway lesions, and 3 (0.6%) with conjunctival hemorrhages (5 patients had 2 skin manifestations). Patients with skin manifestations had a higher rate of IE-related extracardiac complications than patients without skin manifestations, particularly cerebral emboli (32.8% vs 18.4%, P = .01), without increased mortality. Patients with purpura had larger cardiac vegetations (18.1 vs 13.7 mm, P = .01), and Janeway lesions were associated with more extracerebral emboli (75.0% vs 31.8%, P = .02).

Conclusions and relevance: Specific skin manifestations of IE are associated with a higher risk of complications and should alert physicians to examine for extracardiac complications, notably with cerebral imaging.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Comorbidity
  • Conjunctival Diseases
  • Endocarditis / diagnosis*
  • Endocarditis / epidemiology*
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / diagnosis
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / epidemiology
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Purpura / diagnosis
  • Purpura / epidemiology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Skin Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Telangiectasia, Hereditary Hemorrhagic / diagnosis
  • Telangiectasia, Hereditary Hemorrhagic / epidemiology