Echocardiography is fundamental for the management of infective endocarditis (IE) across all stages of the illness including diagnosis, surveillance during medical therapy, identification of prognostic markers, planning perioperative intervention, postoperative assessment, and follow-up after completion of definitive therapy. Modern era echocardiography (echo) offers outstanding temporal and spatial image resolution, providing the opportunity for early diagnosis of this life-threatening infection. Emerging imaging modalities, such as real-time three-dimensional (3D) echocardiography, offer a novel way of readily visualizing the extent of intracardiac infection and the relationship of pathology to adjacent cardiac structures, well before surgical intervention, without radiation exposure or significant risk to the patient. Echocardiography can have a positive impact on the management of every stage of this disease, with the opportunity to improve outcomes.
Part of the book: Contemporary Challenges in Endocarditis
This chapter provides an updated overview of the scientific literature on cardiac pathology predisposing to infective endocarditis and the estimated risk associated with selected lesion-specific abnormalities, in an era of changing epidemiology and advanced echocardiographic imaging. Importantly, with the evolution of modern-era echo, subtle changes in valve structure and function are now easily detectable and a proportion of cases of apparently ‘normal’ valves involved with IE, may in fact have subtle pre-existing pathological and/or haemodynamic abnormalities. The chapter will have a clinical focus with an aim to provide the Physician with up-to-date and practical information on cardiac risk factor identification for infective endocarditis.
Part of the book: Advanced Concepts in Endocarditis