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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 149-155

Infective endocarditis: Echocardiographic imaging and new imaging modalities


1 Department of Cardiology, AORN Ospedali dei Colli-Cotugno, Naples, Italy
2 Department of Cardiology, AORN Ospedali dei Colli-Monaldi, Naples, Italy
3 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy
4 Department of Infectious Disease, AORN Ospedali dei Colli-Cotugno, Naples, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Chiara Sordelli
Via Cilea 217, 80127 Naples
Italy
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jcecho.jcecho_53_19

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Infective endocarditis (IE) is a rare disease with a significant impact and an increasing mortality despite earlier diagnosis and surgical intervention. It is related to several and the main etiological agents are the Gram-positive cocci. The new guidelines propose new diagnostic criteria that consider the potentiality on integrated multimodality imaging. Echocardiography (TTE) plays a key role for the diagnosis of IE and must be performed as soon as IE is suspected. It allows to identify vegetation, abscess, new dehiscence of prosthetic valve and assesses the number, size, shape, location, echogenicity and mobility of vegetations so it also useful for prediction embolic risk. Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is indicated when TTE is positive or non diagnostic, in case of suspected complications and when intracardiac device leads are present. We underline the increasing role of three-dimensional (3D) echocardiography in overcoming the limit of 2DTEE in selecting the maximum true diameter of irregular masses (ie, vegetation). We also underline the diagnostic value of multislice computed tomograpfy (MSCT), cerebral magnetic resonance (RMI) and nuclear imaging and also emphasize the emerging role of particular types of endocarditis specially Lead Endocarditis. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the imaging techniques useful for the diagnosis and identification of any complications. In our opinion, the management of IE is complex, based on an “Endocarditis team “ composed by several specialist and an integrated multimodality imaging is essential for the diagnostic approach.


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