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ABSTRACT: To review the clinical course and outcome of patients with infective endocarditis proceeding to surgical treatment in the South Island of New Zealand. A retrospective review of all cases of infective endocarditis requiring cardiac surgery, excepting homograft replacement between 1989 and June 2001 was performed. All patients treated at both cardiothoracic units over this time frame in the South Island of New Zealand were included. A total of 29 patients, ten females and nineteen males, age range 31-79 years (mean 55) underwent surgery. 27 patients had native valve endocarditis, two infection of prosthetic valves. A variety of causative micro-organisms were isolated, and all patients received aggressive intravenous antibiotic therapy. Heart failure was the predominant indication for surgical intervention. Fifteen patients underwent aortic, nine mitral, three combined and two replacement of infected prosthetic valves. There were five peri-operative deaths (17% mortality) and significant morbidity in a further eleven patients (38%). Of the 23 survivors available to follow-up none have recurrent endocarditis, with an average disease free survival of 35 months. Patients who require valve surgery for endocarditis have significant peri-operative morbidity and mortality. Long-term outcome in survivors, however, is extremely good with a prognosis similar to those undergoing elective valve replacement surgery. Mycotic cerebral aneurysms are an emerging important cause of early deaths.
Canterbury District Health BoardChristchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand