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Epidemiological, Bacteriological, and Evolutive Features of Children Hospitalized for Infective Endocarditis in a Tertiary Tunisian Pediatric Department.

BACKGROUND: Infective endocarditis is a rare condition in childhood, and there is limited data on this disease in Tunisia.

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to analyze the epidemiological profile, bacteriological data, and prognosis of infective endocarditis in children admitted to the pediatric department of a University Hospital in Tunisia.

METHODS: We conducted a comparative cross-sectional study in the pediatric department of Sahloul Teaching Hospital in Sousse, a tertiary referral hospital in Tunisia. The study included all children aged ≤ 18 years with infective endocarditis admitted to the tertiary referral center for pediatrics in Sahloul University Hospital from January 1994 to December 2022. The diagnosis of infective endocarditis was based on modified Duke's criteria.

RESULTS: Thirty-six patients met the diagnostic criteria for infective endocarditis, resulting in a proportion of 07 cases per 1000 hospital admissions. The mean age was 6 years (range: 40 days to 16 years). Congenital heart disease was identified as the underlying lesion in 23 cases (63.9 %). Blood cultures were positive in 20 patients (55.6 %), predominantly with Staphylococcus species (55 %). The most frequent complications involved the central nervous system (8 cases; 22.2 %). The mortality rate was 25 %, and factors predicting mortality included heart failure on admission or during the hospital stay, increased leukocyte count, and decreased prothrombin time.

CONCLUSION: Our study reveals a shift in the prevalent underlying lesions, with rheumatic heart diseases no longer being the most common. Staphylococcus spp. emerged as the predominant organism in blood cultures. Notably, mortality predictors included heart failure, an elevated leukocyte count, and a decreased prothrombin time rate.

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