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Open Access Research article

Short-term and one-year outcome of infective endocarditis in adult patients treated in a Finnish teaching hospital during 1980–2004

Maija Heiro1, Hans Helenius2, Saija Hurme2, Timo Savunen3, Erik Engblom1, Jukka Nikoskelainen1 and Pirkko Kotilainen1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland

2 Department of Biostatistics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland

3 Department of Surgery, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2007, 7:78  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-7-78

Published: 17 July 2007



Previous studies on factors predicting the prognosis of infective endocarditis have given somewhat conflicting results. Our aim was to define the factors predicting the outcome of patients treated in a Finnish teaching hospital.


A total of 326 episodes of infective endocarditis in 303 patients treated during 1980–2004 were evaluated for short-term and 1-year outcome and complications.


Infection of 2 native valves and the occurrence of neurological complications, peripheral emboli, or heart failure significantly predicted both in-hospital and 1-year mortality, while age ≥65 years or the presence of a major criterion or vegetation on echocardiography predicted death within 1 year. A significant trend was observed between the level of serum C-reactive protein (CRP) on admission and both the short-term and 1-year outcome. In the patients who had CRP values ≥100 mg/l on admission, the hazard ratio for in-hospital death was 2.9-fold and the hazard ratio for 1-year death was 3.9-fold as compared to those with lower CRP values. Male sex and age < 64 years significantly predicted a need for both in-hospital and 1-year surgery, as did the development of heart failure or the presence of a major criterion or vegetation on echocardiography. Peripheral emboli were associated with a need for in-hospital surgery, while Streptococcus pneumoniae as the causative agent or infection of 2 native valves predicted a need for surgery within 1 year from admission.


Some of the factors (e.g. heart failure, neurological complications, peripheral emboli) predicting a poor prognosis and/or need for surgery were the same observed in previous studies. A new finding was that high CRP values (≥100 mg/l) on admission significantly predicted both short-term and 1-year mortality.