We reviewed our department's experience with the perioperative features and surgical treatment of isolated right-sided infective endocarditis. From January 2000 through July 2010, 35 patients underwent surgery for isolated right-sided infective endocarditis in our department. The mean pathologic course was 3.6 months. Preoperative transthoracic echocardiography had revealed intracardiac vegetations in all 35 patients: the tricuspid valve was involved in 28, and preoperative cultures were positive in 31. The median follow-up time was 5.8 years, and the follow-up rate was 85.3%. All the operations were performed with the patients on cardiopulmonary bypass, with or without cardiac arrest. All concomitant congenital heart defects were repaired, and vegetations and foreign materials were removed as part of intensive débridement of the infected area. After vegetation removal, 4 tricuspid valve replacements with tissue valves and 24 tricuspid valve reconstructions were performed.
One patient who underwent tricuspid valve replacement died of uncontrollable infection and multiple-organ failure. Two patients required mechanical ventilation for more than 1 week, and 3 needed dialysis for acute renal failure. Of the excised vegetations, 31.4% were positive for microorganisms. Of the patients who underwent tricuspid valvuloplasty, 23 had no valvular incompetence and 11 had mild or moderate regurgitation before discharge from the hospital. During follow-up, no patient needed reoperation because of reinfection, and 1 underwent reoperation for severe tricuspid regurgitation. We conclude that surgery can yield satisfactory immediate and midterm results in the treatment of isolated right-sided infective endocarditis.