Prioritizing echocardiography in Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia.
Joseph JP., Meddows TR., Webster DP., Newton JD., Myerson SG., Prendergast B., Scarborough M., Herring N.
OBJECTIVES: Infective endocarditis (IE) is a severe complication in Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) and recent guidelines from the BSAC recommend all patients undergo echocardiography. We assessed the use of echocardiography at a major tertiary referral centre and sought to identify those patients most likely to have positive findings. METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated all cases of SAB at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust between September 2006 and August 2011. RESULTS: Three-hundred-and-six out of 668 patients with SAB underwent cardiac imaging on average 9.8 ± 1.3 days from the first culture. Thirty-one patients (10.1%) had echocardiographic evidence of IE. Risk factors for observing evidence of IE on scanning included the presence of prosthetic heart valves (32% versus 4%, P < 0.001) or cardiac rhythm management (CRM) devices (16% versus 3%, P < 0.004). On excluding patients with prosthetic valves or CRM devices from the analysis, no patient with a line-related bacteraemia and only one patient (an intravenous drug user) with no/mild regurgitation on transthoracic echocardiography had echo evidence of IE. CONCLUSIONS: We propose that the use of scarce echocardiography resources could be prioritized. Patients with prosthetic heart valves or a CRM device should receive early cardiological input and transoesophageal echocardiography. In patients with a clearly defined line-related bacteraemia who do not have a prosthetic valve or CRM device or clinical features of IE, response to treatment could be closely monitored and imaging deferred. Patients without a line-related infection or prosthetic valve/device could receive a transthoracic echocardiogram as a screening tool.