What are the underlying causes of native valve endocarditis (NVE)?

Updated: Jan 03, 2019
  • Author: John L Brusch, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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The different types of IE have varying causes and involve different pathogens.

Native valve endocarditis

The following are the main underlying causes of NVE:

  • Rheumatic valvular disease (30% of NVE) - Primarily involves the mitral valve followed by the aortic valve

  • Congenital heart disease (15% of NVE) - Underlying etiologies include a patent ductus arteriosus, ventricular septal defect, tetralogy of Fallot, or any native or surgical high-flow lesion.

  • Mitral valve prolapse with an associated murmur (20% of NVE)

  • Degenerative heart disease - Including calcific aortic stenosis due to a bicuspid valve, Marfan syndrome, or syphilitic disease

Approximately 70% of infections in NVE are caused by Streptococcus species, including S viridans, Streptococcus bovis, and enterococci. Staphylococcus species cause 25% of cases and generally demonstrate a more aggressive acute course.

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