|Petzsch M, Reisinger EC|
Infective Endocarditis: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Issues - Should Transoesophagal Echocardiography be Performed in all Patients? - Position Pro
Journal of Clinical and Basic Cardiology 2001; 4 (2): 157-159
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Keywords: Duke-Kriterien, infektiöse Endokarditis, transösophageale Echokardiographie, Duke criteria, infective endocarditis, transoesophageal echocardiography
Infective endocarditis remains a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge associated with a high mortality. Early diagnosis and prompt therapy are necessary to improve outcome and prognosis. Because echocardiography shows vegetations, abscesses and complications of infective endocarditis, it represents the diagnostic imaging technique of choice in this serious illness. The two modalities are transthoracic (TTE) and transoesophageal (TEE) echocardiography with a specificity around 95 % for both techniques. Relating to sensitivity, TEE surpasses TTE with values reaching 100 %, while TTE ranges between 30 % and 69 %. The reported results refer to native as well as prosthetic heart valves. With its high sensitivity TEE allows monitoring of the infectious process and enables the guidance of therapy. Increasingly the impending question of economy must be answered also: TEE is the more economic strategy in the evaluation of patients with suspected infective endocarditis.