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      Blood culture-negative endocarditis : Improving the diagnostic yield using new diagnostic tools

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          Blood culture-negative endocarditis (BCNE) may represent up to 70% of all endocarditis cases, depending on series. From 2001 to 2009, we implemented in our laboratory a multimodal diagnostic strategy for BCNE that included systematized testing of blood, and when available, valvular biopsy specimens using serological, broad range molecular, and histopathological assays. A causative microorganism was identified in 62.7% of patients.

          In this study from January 2010 to December 2015, in an effort to increase the number of identified causative microorganisms, we prospectively added to our diagnostic protocol specific real-time (RT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays targeting various endocarditis agents, and applied them to all patients with BCNE admitted to the 4 public hospitals in Marseille, France.

          A total of 283 patients with BCNE were included in the study. Of these, 177 were classified as having definite endocarditis. Using our new multimodal diagnostic strategy, we identified an etiology in 138 patients (78.0% of cases). Of these, 3 were not infective (2.2%) and 1 was diagnosed as having Mycobacterium bovis BCG endocarditis. By adding specific PCR assays from blood and valvular biopsies, which exhibited a significantly greater sensitivity ( P< 10 −2) than other methods, causative agents, mostly enterococci, streptococci, and zoonotic microorganisms, were identified in an additional 27 patients (14 from valves only, 11 from blood only, and 2 from both). Finally, in another 107 patients, a pathogen was detected using serology in 37, valve culture in 8, broad spectrum PCR from valvular biopsies and blood in 19 and 2, respectively, immunohistochemistry from valves in 3, and a combination of several assays in 38.

          By adding specific RT-PCR assays to our systematic PCR testing of patients with BCNE, we increased the diagnostic efficiency by 24.3%, mostly by detecting enterococci and streptococci that had not been detected by other diagnostic methods, but also agents requiring specific management such as Mycoplasma hominis and Tropheryma whipplei.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Proposed modifications to the Duke criteria for the diagnosis of infective endocarditis.

          Although the sensitivity and specificity of the Duke criteria for the diagnosis of infective endocarditis (IE) have been validated by investigators from Europe and the United States, several shortcomings of this schema remain. The Duke IE database contains records collected prospectively on >800 cases of definite and possible IE since 1984. Databases on echocardiograms and on patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia at Duke University Medical Center are also maintained. Analyses of these databases, our experience with the Duke criteria in clinical practice, and analysis of the work of others have led us to propose the following modifications of the Duke schema. The category "possible IE" should be defined as having at least 1 major criterion and 1 minor criterion or 3 minor criteria. The minor criterion "echocardiogram consistent with IE but not meeting major criterion" should be eliminated, given the widespread use of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). Bacteremia due to S. aureus should be considered a major criterion, regardless of whether the infection is nosocomially acquired or whether a removable source of infection is present. Positive Q-fever serology should be changed to a major criterion.
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            2015 ESC Guidelines for the management of infective endocarditis: The Task Force for the Management of Infective Endocarditis of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Endorsed by: European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS), the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM).

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              Endocarditis due to rare and fastidious bacteria.

              The etiologic diagnosis of infective endocarditis is easily made in the presence of continuous bacteremia with gram-positive cocci. However, the blood culture may contain a bacterium rarely associated with endocarditis, such as Lactobacillus spp., Klebsiella spp., or nontoxigenic Corynebacterium, Salmonella, Gemella, Campylobacter, Aeromonas, Yersinia, Nocardia, Pasteurella, Listeria, or Erysipelothrix spp., that requires further investigation to establish the relationship with endocarditis, or the blood culture may be uninformative despite a supportive clinical evaluation. In the latter case, the etiologic agents are either fastidious extracellular or intracellular bacteria. Fastidious extracellular bacteria such as Abiotrophia, HACEK group bacteria, Clostridium, Brucella, Legionella, Mycobacterium, and Bartonella spp. need supplemented media, prolonged incubation time, and special culture conditions. Intracellular bacteria such as Coxiella burnetii cannot be isolated routinely. The two most prevalent etiologic agents of culture-negative endocarditis are C. burnetti and Bartonella spp. Their diagnosis is usually carried out serologically. A systemic pathologic examination of excised heart valves including periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining and molecular methods has allowed the identification of Whipple's bacillus endocarditis. Pathologic examination of the valve using special staining, such as Warthin-Starry, Gimenez, and PAS, and broad-spectrum PCR should be performed systematically when no etiologic diagnosis is evident through routine laboratory evaluation.

                Author and article information

                Medicine (Baltimore)
                Medicine (Baltimore)
                Wolters Kluwer Health
                November 2017
                27 November 2017
                : 96
                : 47
                [a ]Aix-Marseille Université, UM63, CNRS7278, IRD198, Inserm1095, Unité de Recherche sur les Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales Emergentes, IHU Méditerranée-Infection
                [b ]Fédération de Microbiologie Clinique, Hôpital de la Timone, Rue Saint-Pierre
                [c ]Service de Cardiologie, Hôpital Nord
                [d ]Service de Chirurgie Cardiaque, Hôpital de la Timone
                [e ]Service de Cardiologie, Hôpital de la Timone, Marseille, France.
                Author notes
                []Correspondence: Pierre-Edouard Fournier, Aix-Marseille Université, UM63, CNRS7278, IRD198, Inserm1095, Unité de Recherche sur les Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales Emergentes, IHU Méditerranée-Infection, 19-21Blvd Jean Moulin, 13005 Marseille cedex 05, France (e-mail: pierre-edouard.Fournier@ ).
                MD-D-17-03721 08392
                Copyright © 2017 the Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License 4.0 (CCBY-NC), where it is permissible to download, share, remix, transform, and buildup the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be used commercially without permission from the journal.

                Research Article
                Observational Study
                Custom metadata

                blood, diagnosis, endocarditis, serology, specific pcr, valve


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