Infective endocarditis in intravenous drug abusers: an update

  • C. Sousa
  • C. Botelho
  • D. Rodrigues
  • J. Azeredo
  • R. OliveiraEmail author


Infective endocarditis despite advances in diagnosis remains a common cause of hospitalization, with high morbidity and mortality rates. Through literature review it is possible to conclude that polymicrobial endocarditis occurs mainly in intravenous drug abusers with predominance in the right side of the heart, often with tricuspid valve involvement. This fact can be associated with the type of drug used by the patients; therefore, knowledge of the patient's history is critical for adjustment of the therapy. It is also important to emphasize that the most common combinations of organisms in polymicrobial infective endocarditis are: Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as well as mixed cultures of Candida spp. and bacteria. A better understanding of the epidemiology and associated risk factors are required in order to develop an efficient therapy, although PE studies are difficult to perform due to the rarity of cases and lack of prospective cohorts.


Endocarditis Infective Endocarditis Tricuspid Valve Prosthetic Valve Prosthetic Valve Endocarditis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) through the grants SFRH/BPD/47693/2008, SFRH/BPD/20987/2004 and SFRH/BPD/72632/2010 attributed to Cláudia Sousa, Cláudia Botelho and Diana Rodrigues, respectively.

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest.

Author’s knowledge

All authors had access to the data and a role in writing the manuscript


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Sousa
    • 1
  • C. Botelho
    • 1
  • D. Rodrigues
    • 1
  • J. Azeredo
    • 1
  • R. Oliveira
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.IBB-Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre for Biological EngineeringUniversidade do MinhoBragaPortugal

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