Which factors affect the rate of embolization in 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 emboli of right-sided IE commonly produce pulmonary infarcts. The rate of embolization is related to the organism, the size of the vegetation and its rate of growth or resolution, and its location.

The vegetations of S aureus, Haemophilus influenzae, H parainfluenzae, and the fungi are much more likely to embolize than those of S viridans. Those larger than 10 mm in diameter and mobile or prolapsing have a high rate of embolization. A vegetation that grows during therapy is associated with a significant increase in the risk of embolization but with the persistence of bacteremia.

Clinically separating the importance of the absolute size and the rate of change in the size of the vegetation from the causative organism is difficult. The vegetations of the mitral valve are much more likely to embolize than those in any other location. The risk of embolization markedly decreases after 1 week of appropriate antibiotic therapy.

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