Bacterial Endocarditis in Patients with Chronic Liver Disease

T. M. McCashland, M. F. Sorrell, R. K. Zetterman

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37 Scopus citations


Objective: Although patients with cirrhosis have an increased susceptibility for bacterial infections, endocarditis complicating cirrhosis has been reported only infrequently. In this study, our objective was to determine whether, bacterial endocarditis is, in fact, a complicating factor in cirrhosis. Methods: We retrospectively studied all cases of bacterial endocarditis that occurred over the last 15 yr in patients with known cirrhosis. Results: Ten patients (three males, seven females) were identified, whose mean age was 55 yr (range 29–65 yr). Bacterial organisms included Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase‐positive (eight patients), Peptostreptococcus (one patient), and Enterococcus (one patient). Underlying liver disease consisted of alcobolism (five patients), autoimmune chronic active hepatitis (two), cryptogenic cirrhosis (two), and primary biliary cirrhosis (one). Distribution of heart valves affected were mitral valve (six), aorta (two), and there were two involving both mitral and aortic valves. Echocardiograms revealed vegetation in 50% of the patients. Laboratory studies were markedly abnormal, with mean values of albumin 2.4 mg/dl, creatinine 2.5 mg/dl, BUN 76.5 mg/dl, and total bilirubin 8.2 mg/dl. Potential associated sources of infection were upper gastrointestinal bleeding (four), pneumonia (two), and one each of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, hip replacement, heart catheterization, and abdominal abscess. the outcome was poor, with death in eight of 10 patients. Conclusions: Bacterial endocarditis may complicate cirrhosis, may be more frequent in females, typically involves the mitral valve, and probably is due to Staphy‐lococcus aureus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)924-927
Number of pages4
JournalThe American journal of gastroenterology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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