Prosthetic heart valve surgery and potential risk of ­developing Mycobacterium chimaera endocarditis

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Public Health England (PHE) issued a guidance report on the management of Mycobacterium chimaera endocarditis following cardiac valve surgery. M chimaera is a non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) belonging to mycobacterium avium complex (MAC). PHE has also recognised that M chimaera has caused severe infections in a small proportion of patients who have had cardiac surgery. Investigations in the UK and internationally have implicated contaminated heater cooler units used for cardiopulmonary bypass. Prosthetic valve endocarditis (PVE) presents as the frequent and severe form of infective endocarditis (IE). The objective of this review is to discuss the role of clinicians in assessment, treatment and reassurance of all the patients who are recalled for clinical consultation following their risk of suspected M chimaera infection after open-heart surgery.

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