Surgery for infective valve endocarditis in children

Christos Alexiou, Stephen M. Langley, James L. Monro

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Scopus citations


    Objective: Surgery for endocarditis in children is relatively uncommon. Our aim is to assess operative mortality, recurrent infection, re-operation and long-term survival rates following surgery for infective valve endocarditis in children. Patients: Sixteen consecutive children (ten female, six male, mean age 11.8 years, range 25 days-16 years) undergoing surgery between 1972 and 1999 in Southampton were studied. The aortic valve was affected in five, mitral in four, aortic and mitral in one, tricuspid in five and a pulmonary homograft in one patient. Prosthetic valve endocarditis was present in three. Twelve surgical interventions were emergency and four urgent. Indications for operation included cardiac failure in five, severe valvular dysfunction in nine, vegetations in nine, persistent sepsis in four and embolization in four patients. The offending micro-organism was identified in 13. Valve replacement was performed in 11 and excision of vegetations in two and excision of vegetations and repair in three. Follow-up was complete (mean 11.2 years, range 2 months to 26.3 years, total 179.5 patient years). Results: There was one operative death (6.2%) in a 25-day-old neonate who presented in a moribund condition. Endocarditis recurred in one patient (6.25%). Freedom from recurrent infection at 10 and 20 years was 100.0 and 87.5%. Seven surgical re-interventions were required in four (25.0%) patients with no operative mortality. Freedom from re-operation at 1, 5, 10 and 20 years, was 84.6, 76.1, 76.1 and 60.9%, respectively. Two patients died 15 and 23 years after their first operation. The cause of the late deaths was non-cardiac in the first and unknown in the other. Actuarial survival, including operative mortality, at 1, 15 and 20 years was 93.7, 93.7 and 78.1%. Conclusions: Surgery in children with infective valve endocarditis can be performed with low operative mortality. Although some patients may require re-operation, freedom from recurrent infection and long-term survival are satisfactory.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)653-659
    Number of pages7
    JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Dec 1 1999


    • Children
    • Endocarditis
    • Surgery

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery
    • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
    • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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