Infective endocarditis in children: an update

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Infective endocarditis in children remains a clinical challenge. Here, we review the impact of the updated 2015 American Heart Association and European Society of Cardiology guidelines on management as well as the significance of the new predisposing factors, diagnostic and treatment options, and the impact of the 2007–2008 change in prophylaxis recommendations.

Recent findings

The new 2015 infective endocarditis guidelines introduced the endocarditis team, added the new imaging modalities of computer tomography and PET–computer tomography into the diagnostic criteria and endorsed the concept of safety of relatively early surgical treatment. The impact of the restriction of infective endocarditis prophylaxis since the 2007–2008 American Heart Association and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommendations is uncertain, with some studies showing no change and other more recent studies showing increased incidence. The difficulties in adjusting for varying confounding factors are discussed. The relative proportion of the device-related infective endocarditis is increasing. Special attention is paid to relatively high incidence of percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation-related infective endocarditis with low proportion of positive echo signs, disproportionate shift in causative agents, and unusual complication of acute obstruction. The significance of incomplete neoendothelialization on the risk of infective endocarditis on intracardiac devices is also discussed.

Summary

The impact of changes in the infective endocarditis prophylaxis recommendations in pediatric patients is still uncertain. The device-related infective endocarditis has increasing importance, with the incidence on transcatheter implanted bovine jugular vein pulmonary valves being relatively high. The use of novel imaging, laboratory diagnostic techniques, and relatively early surgery in particular circumstances is important for management of paediatric infective endocarditis.

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