What are the causes of prosthetic valve endocarditis (PVE)?

Updated: Jan 03, 2019
  • Author: John L Brusch, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Early PVE, which presents shortly after surgery, has a different bacteriology and prognosis than late PVE, which presents in a subacute fashion similar to NVE.

Infection associated with aortic valve prostheses is particularly associated with local abscess and fistula formation, and valvular dehiscence. This may lead to shock, heart failure, heart block, shunting of blood to the right atrium, pericardial tamponade, and peripheral emboli to the central nervous system and elsewhere.

Early PVE may be caused by a variety of pathogens, including S aureus and S epidermidis. These nosocomially acquired organisms are often methicillin-resistant (eg, MRSA). [18] Late disease is most commonly caused by streptococci. Overall, CoNS are the most frequent cause of PVE (30%).

S aureus causes 17% of early PVE and 12% of late PVE. Corynebacterium, nonenterococcal streptococci, fungi (eg, C albicans, Candida stellatoidea, Aspergillus species), Legionella, and the HACEK (ie, Haemophilus aphrophilus, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Cardiobacterium hominis, Eikenella corrodens, Kingella kingae) organisms cause the remaining cases.

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