Which findings on echocardiography are predictive of complications of infective endocarditis (IE)?

Updated: Jan 03, 2019
  • Author: John L Brusch, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Echocardiography is useful for predicting the potential complications of IE, especially those that are embolic in nature.

Echocardiographic predictors of systemic embolization in patients with IE are the following:

  • Large valvular vegetations (>10 mm in diameter)
  • Multiple vegetations
  • Mobile but pedunculated vegetations
  • Noncalcified vegetations
  • Vegetations that are increasing in size
  • Prolapsing vegetations

Echocardiography is also highly useful for detecting abscesses. As with valvular lesions, the transesophageal technique is generally more sensitive. [74]


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