Infectious endocarditis in pediatric patients: analysis of 19 cases presenting at a medical center
BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Infectious endocarditis (IE) is a rare, but potentially fatal disease in pediatric patients. In this study, we reviewed the symptoms and signs, etiology, laboratory findings and outcomes of IE patients over the past 10 years.
METHODS: Patients (< 18 years old) with definite IE according to the modified Duke criteria, or patients with positive pathological findings, between September 1998 and September 2008 were included in the study. The etiology, symptoms and signs, laboratory findings and outcomes were collected via chart review.
RESULTS: Nineteen cases (13 boys and 6 girls) ranging in age from 2.5 months to 18 years (mean = 7.98 years; median = 5 years) were included. Nine out of 17 cases (52.9%) had microscopic hematuria and two out of three (66.7%) cases showed elevated rheumatoid factor levels. Seventeen (89.5%) had fever and seven (36.8%) had major vessel embolic events. Blood cultures yielded Staphylococcus aureus in seven cases, and viridans Streptococci in two cases. The other three cases had Pneumococcus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans. Two patients died and one was discharged in a critical condition. Two of the seven (28.6%) patients with a positive blood culture for S. aureus died, three (42.9%) had an embolic event and one (14.3%) had central nervous system complications (intracranial hemorrhage). The initial C-reactive protein levels in the blood culture-positive group were significantly higher than those in the blood culture-negative group (p = 0.035).
CONCLUSION: S. aureus is one of the most common etiologies in IE patients, while viridans Streptococcus accounts for fewer cases than suggested by previous studies. IE caused by S. aureus seems to carry a higher risk of mortality, and embolic events are associated with increased mortality.