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You are here: Contents > 2014 > Volume 23 Number 5 September 2014 > INFECTIVE ENDOCARDITIS > Stroke is Not a Treatment Dilemma for Early Valve Surgery in Active Infective Endocarditis

Stroke is Not a Treatment Dilemma for Early Valve Surgery in Active Infective Endocarditis

Su Wan Kim, Kiick Sung, Pyo Won Park, Wook Sung Kim, Young Tak Lee, Tae-Gook Jun, Ji-Hyuk Yang, Dong Seop Jeong, Yang Hyun Cho

Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Background and aim of the study: While early valve surgery for active infective endocarditis (AIE) is recommended, surgeons have hesitated to operate on patients complicated by cerebral septic embolism resulting in cerebral bleeding when cardiopulmonary bypass is required intraoperatively. The study aim was to review the outcomes of operations for AIE, and to determine the risks of neurologic complications resulting from cerebral septic embolism.

Methods: Between 1994 and June 2011, among 278 patients who underwent heart valve surgery for AIE at the authors’ institution, 39 (14%) had cerebral septic embolisms. Cerebral lesions were verified by imaging, and were predominantly multiple embolic infarctions (34 patients; 87.2%). Five patients had brain abscess, and 10 had hemorrhage with or without infarction. The mean interval between the recent onset of a stroke and surgery was 10.1 ± 10.1 days (range: 0-43 days).

Results: One patient died postoperatively of septic shock.

New neurologic complications occurred in five patients, including secondary hemorrhagic transformation in the previous lesions (n = 2), newly developed subdural and subarachnoid haemorrhage (n = 2), and an increased degree of subarachnoid hemorrhage (n = 1). One patient needed a craniotomy, and the others were treated medically. There were five late deaths, including one cardiac death, and one redo valve surgery due to repaired valve failure during the follow up period of 46.3 ± 40.4 months (range: 1.9-127.4 months). The overall and event-free survival rates at five and 10 years were 84.3 ± 6.5% and 75.9 ± 9.9%, and 81.7 ± 6.8% and 73.6 ± 9.9%, respectively.

Conclusion: Surgery for AIE with cerebral septic embolisms can be performed safely, with good early and mid-term follow-up results. When urgent or emergent surgery for AIE is needed, neurologic complications should not be a reason for delay.

The Journal of Heart Valve Disease 2014;23:609-616

Stroke is Not a Treatment Dilemma for Early Valve Surgery in Active Infective Endocarditis

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