Cardiac operation during active infective endocarditis. Results of aortic, mitral, and double valve replacement in 94 patients

B. S. Lewis, N. E. Agathangelou, P. R. Colsen, M. Antunes, R. H. Kinsley

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Cardiac valve replacement was performed in 94 patients (95 operations) in the presence of active infective endocarditis. Most of the patients were extremely ill. The operation was performed as an emergency or semiemergency lifesaving procedure in 88% of them, and more than half received little or no antibiotic treatment prior to the operation. The hospital mortality was 16%-14% for aortic valve replacement (AVR) and 11% for double valve replacement (DVR) but 31% for isolated mitral valve replacement (MVR). The mortality was not higher in patients operated on urgently (emergency or semiemergency), nor was it higher in patients who had aortic annular abscesses or aneurysms. Prosthetic valve endocarditis (PVE) (in each case occurring more than 60 days after the previous valve operation) carried a higher mortality (33%) than native valve endocarditis (NVE) (14%). The relatively high early mortality for MVR may have been related to the fact that we operated upon MVR patients after intensive medical treatment had failed. The late results were good: Sixty-six patients are alive and well, 51 of them in Functional Class I. Six patients were reoperated upon for aortic periprosthetic leaks, and five are now well. Eight patients died late (9%), one of them because of a periprosthetic leak and one because of a clotted valve. In seven of the eight deaths, the cause of death was probably not related to the timing of the original operation. We recommend early valve replacement for patients with infective endocarditis. We believe that early operation reduces mortality, prevents emboli, and is associated with excellent long-term results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-584
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1982


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