Spectrum of infective endocarditis during infancy and childhood: 20-year review

Pediatr Cardiol. 1994 May-Jun;15(3):127-31. doi: 10.1007/BF00796324.


The medical records of the 29 patients under 18 years of age with infective endocarditis (IE) seen over a 20-year period by our department were reviewed to provide an overview of the spectrum of IE during infancy and childhood. None of the 29 patients had had previous cardiovascular surgery. The mean age at onset of IE was 7 years 2 months; 3 patients (10%) were under 2 years of age at onset. One patient during the early years died following 4 months of treatment with various antibiotics. Three patients underwent urgent surgery, and 17 patients with healed IE had elective surgery. All of the 20 patients who were operated on survived. The remaining 8 were followed with medical treatment alone. Positive blood cultures were obtained from 24 (83%) patients, and streptococci were still commonly found (38%). Ventricular septal defect (VSD) accounted for 66% of underlying heart diseases and rheumatic heart diseases for 14%. Vegetations were detected in 12 (67%) of 18 patients observed by echocardiography. Among these 12 patients, 1 with VSD underwent urgent tricuspid valve replacement and VSD closure because of worsening congestive heart failure due to progressive tricuspid regurgitation. Echocardiography identifies patients at high risk with IE, though the presence of a vegetation on echocardiography does not necessarily of itself dictate surgical intervention.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Echocardiography
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial* / diagnosis
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial* / etiology
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial* / mortality
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial* / therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents