Infectious endocarditis in drug addicts: a study of 71 cases

E. Ribera, X. Martínez-Costa, P. Tornos, J. Gómez-Jiménez, A. Planes, A. Pahissa, J. M. Martínez-Vázquez

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Infective endocarditis (IE) is a severe and relatively common condition in parenteral drug abusers (PDA). Seventy-one IE episodes in 59 PDAs admitted to the Hospital General Vall d'Hebron from August 1978 to December 1988 were evaluated. The disease basically involved young males, with a progressively increasing incidence throughout the decade and a higher frequency during August. Fever was a constant symptom, with a duration of less than 10 days before admission in 73% of cases. Staphylococcus aureus was the most common pathogen (85% of episodes). Vegetations were detected by echocardiography in 70% of cases. In 82% of episodes the right side of the heart was involved, particularly the tricuspid valve. The initial chest X-ray film was abnormal in 57.5% of episodes. In 7 patients features of heart failure were present at admission; most had left heart endocarditis. Three patients with left heart endocarditis required surgical therapy. Overall mortality was 13%; it was 6% in patients with only tricuspid involvement and 27% when the left heart was involved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-9
JournalMedicina clinica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 1990


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