An echocardiographic study of infective endocarditis, with s
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The aim was to describe the echocardiographic features of patients with infective endocarditis (IE), and to compare the manifestations of IE in HIV-positive versus HIV-negative patients.

The study was prospective in nature and screened patients referred to Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital (IALCH) with suspected IE between 2004 and 2007. Only patients with a definite diagnosis of IE according to the modified Duke criteria were enrolled for the purpose of the study. Inkosi Albert Luthuli hospital is an 842-bed tertiary referral centre, serving a KwaZulu-Natal population of 10 million people, who are of various races.

During this period, 91 patients were screened for IE. Seventy-seven (HIV infected, n = 17) satisfied the criteria for a definite diagnosis of IE. Blood cultures were positive in 46% of cases. The commonest organism was S aureus. Most patients had advanced valve disruption with heart failure and high peri-operative mortality. The clinical profile in the HIV-infected patients was similar to the that of the non-infected patients. The prevalence of echocardiographic complications (abscesses, aneurysms, perforations, fistulae and chordal ruptures) was 50.6% in the whole group. Except for the presence of leaflet aneurysms and root abscesses in four advanced (CD4 counts < 250 /mm3) HIV-infected cases, complications were not more frequent in the HIV-infected group.

There was a high rate of culture-negative cases in this study, probably related to prior antibiotic usage; in this setting the modified Duke criteria have diagnostic limitations. No significant differences in the clinical presentation of infective endocarditis were noted between HIV-infected and HIV-negative patients....