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Managing infective endocarditis in the elderly: new issues for an old disease

Authors Forestier E, Fraisse T, Roubaud-Baudron C, Selton-Suty C, Pagani L

Received 5 December 2015

Accepted for publication 17 February 2016

Published 2 September 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1199—1206


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Emmanuel Forestier,1 Thibaut Fraisse,2 Claire Roubaud-Baudron,3 Christine Selton-Suty,4 Leonardo Pagani5

1Infectious Diseases Department, Centre Hospitalier Métropole Savoie, Chambéry, France; 2Acute Geriatric Department, Centre Hospitalier, Alès, France; 3Geriatric Department, University Hospital, Bordeaux, France; 4Department of Cardiology, University Hospital, Nancy, France; 5Infectious Diseases Department, Centre Hospitalier Annecy-Genevois, Annecy, France

Abstract: The incidence of infective endocarditis (IE) rises in industrialized countries. Older people are more affected by this severe disease, notably because of the increasing number of invasive procedures and intracardiac devices implanted in these patients. Peculiar clinical and echocardiographic features, microorganisms involved, and prognosis of IE in elderly have been underlined in several studies. Additionally, elderly population appears quite heterogeneous, from healthy people without past medical history to patients with multiple diseases or who are even bedridden. However, the management of IE in this population has been poorly explored, and international guidelines do not recommend adapting the therapeutic strategy to the patient’s functional status and comorbidities. Yet, if IE should be treated according to current recommendations in the healthiest patients, concerns may rise for older patients who suffer from several chronic diseases, especially renal failure, and are on polypharmacy. Treating frailest patients with high-dose intravenous antibiotics during a prolonged hospital stay as recommended for younger patients could also expose them to functional decline and toxic effect. Likewise, the place of surgery according to the aging characteristics of each patient is unclear. The aim of this article is to review the recent data on epidemiology of IE and its peculiarities in the elderly. Then, its management and various therapeutic approaches that can be considered according to and beyond guidelines depending on patient comorbidities and frailty are discussed.

Keywords: infective endocarditis, elderly, antibiotic therapy, cardiac surgery, frailty

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