Infective Endocarditis in Patients with Kidney Failure: Chronic Dialysis and Kidney Transplant

Current Infectious Disease Reports
James H.E. Ireland, J T McCarthy

Abstract

Physicians who treat patients with infective endocarditis (IE) are encountering a growing number of dialysis and kidney transplant patients. Both groups have 30 to 100 times higher risk of IE, with 1-year mortalities of 40% to 60%. The predominant organisms causing IE are gram positive, with 60% to 80% of cases due to Staphylococcus aureus, and another 10% to 20% of cases due to coagulase-negative staphylococci. Renal transplant patients may develop fungal IE, but this risk is primarily in the first 3 months after transplant. In addition to blood cultures, transesophageal echocardiogram is the most useful diagnostic examination for IE in these patients. Initial antibiotic therapy, pending final culture and antibiotic susceptibility results, should provide coverage against the most common organisms and allow for the potential of either methicillin or vancomycin-resistant species. Removal of infected hemodialysis access devices and at least 4 to 6 weeks of intravenous antibiotics are recommended. Antibiotic prophylaxis against IE has been recommended for all dialysis and renal transplant patients, but this strategy is controversial and unproven.

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