Background: The objective of this study was to analyse the impact of acute surgery for native aortic valve endocarditis and its influence on the long-term prognosis after surgery. Methods: A total of 161 patients underwent aortic valve replacement for native active aortic valve endocarditis (NAAVE) during a 29-year period, from 1967 to 1995 (age range: 10 to 72 years; mean 48 ± 12). The main indication for surgery was progressive congestive heart failure (76%). Other indications were untreatable sepsis (27%), peripheral or central emboli (12%) and, from 1978, echocardiographic evidence of friable, pedunculated vegetations (3%). Streptococcal and staphylococcal infections predominated. Concomitant procedures were performed in 27% of the patients, including mitral and tricuspid valve surgery and coronary bypass procedures. Results: Operative mortality was 8% in the majority of cases caused by heart failure or multi-organ failure. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified NYHA class IV to be an independent predictor for postoperative death. Long-term survival for discharged patients was 75% at 10 years and 58% at 15 years, with a mortality rate of 3.6%/patient/year. Cox regression analysis identified the year of operation, trivalvular endocarditis and staphylococcal infection as independent predictors of survival. At 10 and 15 years after aortic valve replacement, 91% and 84% of the patients, respectively, were free of recurrent endocarditis. The presence of an abscess cavity at first operation was found to be predictive of recurrent endocarditis. Conclusions: Valve replacement for NAAVE offers a good chance for a cure and satisfactory long-term survival. Improvements in pre- and per- operative management of the very ill patient, and the use of allograft valves are likely to further improve long-term results. Finally, the presence of staphylococcal endocarditis requires long-term postoperative antibiotic therapy.
- Acute infective endocarditis
- Aortic valve replacement
- Risk factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging