Research Article

Surgical treatment of infective endocarditis with special reference to prosthetic valve endocarditis.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: (Published 30 July 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:320
  1. S Westaby,
  2. C Oakley,
  3. R N Sapsford,
  4. H H Bentall


    Patients with native valve endocarditis treated surgically between 1968 and 1978 (n = 15) and all patients presenting with prosthetic valve endocarditis during this period (n = 21) were followed up for at least four years. Five of the patients with native valve endocarditis required urgent early surgical intervention, of whom two died. The remaining 10 underwent valve replacement after a course of antibiotic treatment: all survived, though one required further valve replacement. The 21 patients with prosthetic valve endocarditis suffered 25 attacks. Nine were cured by medical treatment alone; two died before surgical intervention was possible; 11 required valve replacement, of whom three died; and two required valve replacement after a course of antibiotic treatment. The incidence of early prosthetic valve endocarditis--that occurring within two months of operation--was 0.67%, but that of late prosthetic valve endocarditis could not be determined. Medical treatment when started early should cure endocarditis in most patients, but vigilance should be maintained for the appearance of indications for surgery. When such indications exist surgery should not be delayed.