Anales de Medicina Interna
versión impresa ISSN 0212-7199
CRUZ, J. M. et al. Infective endocarditis in the elderly. An. Med. Interna (Madrid) [online]. 2003, vol.20, n.1, pp.21-26. ISSN 0212-7199.
Background: The influence of age on the clinical presentation and on the prognosis of infective endocarditis (IE) is unclear. Our aim was to analyse the epidemiologic, clinical and bacteriological characteristics of IE in the elderly compared with younger adult patients. Patients and method: A retrospective study of all patients with IE non intravenous drug users diagnosed in our hospital during the period from 1990 to 2000. We used the Duke criteria to compare the characteristics of 46 episodes of definitive IE in elderly patients ( >65 years old ) and of 46 episodes in younger adult patients ( 20-64 years of age ). Results: No significant differences were observed among the two groups with respect to the delay in diagnosed, possible source of infection, the frecuency of positive blood cultures and the type of infective organism, clinical presentation and evolution of the IE. Elderly patients more often had risk factors predisposing ( degenerative valvular disease, prosthetic valve and pacemaker ), which decreased the sensitivity of transtoracic echocardiography to 46.5% compared with 64.4% in the younger patients. Transesophageal echocardiography improved the diagnostic of IE in the 37.2% in elderly patients. The patients in the both groups underwent surgical therapy with similar frecuency (36.9% in the elderly and the 39.1% in the younger adult patient ) and the mortality rate not was significantly higher in the elderly (19.5%) than in the younger adult patients (10.8%). Conclusions: The age itself is not a poor prognostic, and should not be used prejudicially in denying a early and aggressive treatment of the patients with IE.
Palabras clave : Infective endocarditis; Elderly; Clinical features; Prognosis.