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Combined computed tomography and fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in the diagnosis of prosthetic valve endocarditis: a case series.

BMC Research Notes 2014 January 14
BACKGROUND: The diagnosis of prosthetic valve endocarditis is challenging. The gold standard for prosthetic valve endocarditis diagnosis is trans-esophageal echocardiography. However, trans-esophageal echocardiography may result in negative findings or yield images difficult to differentiate from thrombus in patients with prosthetic valve endocarditis. Combined computed tomography and fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography is a potentially promising diagnostic tool for several infectious conditions and it has also been employed in patients with prosthetic valve endocarditis but data are still scant.

CASE PRESENTATIONS: We reviewed the charts of 6 patients with prosthetic aortic valves evaluated for suspicion of prosthetic valve endocarditis, at two different hospital, over a 3-year period. We found 3 patients with early-onset PVE cases and blood cultures yielding Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus lugdunensis, respectively; and 3 late-onset cases in the remaining 3 patients with isolation in the blood of Streptococcus bovis, Candida albicans and P. aeruginosa, respectively. Initial trans-esophageal echocardiography was negative in all the patients, while fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography showed images suspicious for prosthetic valve endocarditis. In 4 out of 6 patients valve replacement was done with histology confirming the prosthetic valve endocarditis diagnosis. After an adequate course of antibiotic therapy fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography showed resolution of prosthetic valve endocarditis in all the patients.

CONCLUSION: Our experience confirms the potential role of fluoroseoxyglucose positron emission tomography in the diagnosis and follow-up of prosthetic valve endocarditis.

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