With the object of analyzing current characteristics of infectious endocarditis (IE) in children, we carried out a retrospective study of 23 cases of IE in children under 15 years of age seen at the Hospital Ramón y Cajal in Madrid (Spain) between 1977 and 1985.
The incidence was high (1.3 cases per 1000 children admitted). The male/female ratio was 2∶1. Eight patients were under 2 years of age and 15 over 2 years, the majority being adolescents. The two groups presented marked etiological and prognostic differences. Congenital heart disease was the predisposing factor in 20 of the 23 cases.Streptococcus viridans (nine cases) andStaphylococcus aureus (eight cases) were the most frequent organisms. Fourteen cases were on a native valve and nine were secondary (seven of these on prosthetic patches).
In spite of advances in therapy, IE continues to be a severe illness: the mortality rate in our series was 26%. Factors associated with a poor prognosis were: age less than 2 years,Staphylococcus aureus as the causative agent, and the presence of prosthetic material.
Key WordsInfectious endocarditis Children
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