Valve surgery in active endocarditis patients complicated by intracranial haemorrhage: the influence of the timing of surgery on neurological outcomes

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The risk of neurological deterioration during valve surgery using cardiopulmonary bypass under systemic heparinization in infective endocarditis (IE) patients with intracranial haemorrhage (ICH) is unknown. The objective of this retrospective study was to investigate the stratified risk related to the timing of valve surgery on neurological outcomes in patients with active IE and preoperative ICH.

METHODS:

From 2004 to 2012, 246 patients underwent valve surgery for IE in hospitals enrolled in the Osaka Cardiovascular Research Group. Of these, a group of 30 patients had preoperative ICH, and they included 18 patients with cerebral haemorrhage, 8 with subarachnoid haemorrhage and 4 with haemorrhagic infarction. The preoperative characteristics, neurological statuses and postoperative results of these patients were retrospectively explored to analyse the effects of the timing of surgery on neurological outcomes.

RESULTS:

Twenty-one patients had symptomatic ICH, and the median modified Rankin score was 1.5 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2-2.8). Eight patients were diagnosed with mycotic aneurysms, and 7 of these patients underwent aneurysm resection or clipping before valve surgery. All 30 patients underwent valve surgery, and the median interval between ICH onset and surgery was 22.5 (95% CI 15.5-39.4) days. Four patients died of multiple organ dysfunction or heart failure. The interval between ICH onset and valve surgery was within 7 days for 5 cases, between 8 and 14 days for 6, between 15 and 28 days for 9 and >29 days for 10. Postoperative neuroimaging showed that neither neurological deterioration nor exacerbation of haemorrhagic lesions had occurred among the 30 patients, regardless of the timing of surgery. However, 2 cases who underwent valve surgery 8 and 81 days after the onset of ICH developed new ectopic asymptomatic haemorrhages postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS:

The risk of postoperative neurological deterioration resulting from the exacerbation of haemorrhagic lesions seemed relatively low, even in IE patients who underwent valve surgery within 2 weeks of ICH onset. However, further evaluation of the sizes and aetiologies of haemorrhagic lesions is vital to establish a safe interval between the ICH onset and surgery.

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