klimik DERGİSİ, vol.32, no.2, pp.2-116, 2019 (ESCI)
Although infective endocarditis (IE) is rare, it is still important as an infectious disease because of the resulting morbidity and substantial mortality rates. Epidemiological studies in developed countries have shown that the incidence of IE has been approximately 6/100 000 in recent years and it is on the fourth rank among the most life-threatening infectious diseases after sepsis, pneumonia and intraabdominal infections. Although IE is not a reportable disease in Turkey, and an incidence study was not performed, its incidence may be expected to be higher due to both more frequent presence of predisposing cardiac conditions and higher rates of nosocomial bacteremia which may lead to IE in risk groups. Additionally, while IE generally affects elderly people in developed countries it still affects young people in Turkey. In order to reduce the mortality and morbidity, it is critical to diagnose the 1E, to determine the causative agent and to start treatment rapidly. However, most of the patients cannot be diagnosed in their first visits, about half of them can be diagnosed after 3 months, and the disease often goes unnoticed. In patients diagnosed as IE, the rate of identification of causative organisms is more than 90% in developed countries, while it is around 60% in Turkey. Furthermore, some important microbiological diagnostic tests are not performed in most of the centers. Some antimicrobials that are recommended as the first option for treatment of IE, particularly antistaphylococcal penicillins, are unavailable in Turkey. These problems necessitate to review the epidemiological, laboratory and clinical characteristics of IE in the country, as well as the current information about its diagnosis, treatment and prevention together with local data. Patients with IE can be followed by physicians in many specialties. Diagnosis and treatment processes of IE should be standardized at every stage so that management of IE, a setting in which many physicians are involved, can always be in line with current recommendations. From this point of view, Study Group for Infective Endocarditis and Other Cardiovascular Infections of the Turkish Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases has called for collaboration of the relevant specialist organizations to establish a consensus report on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of IE in the light of current information and local data in Turkey. In the periodical meetings of the assigned representatives from all the parties, various questions were identified. Upon reviewing related literature and international guidelines, these questions were provided with consensus answers. Several of the answers provided in the report are listed below:  IE is more frequent in patients with a previous episode of IE, a valvular heart disease, a congenital heart disease, any intracardiac prosthetic material, an intravenous drug addiction, chronic hemodialysis treatment, solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation as compared with normal population.  The most frequent causative organisms are Staphylococcus aureus, streptococci, coagulase-negative staphylococci, and enterococci, respectively, both in Turkey and globally. Brucella spp. is the fifth common causative agent of IE in Turkey.  The echocardiography is the imaging modality of choice to define cardiac lesions in patients with suspected IE. Both transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography are generally necessary in almost all patients.