Marked Increase in Infected Heart Valves Due to Injected Opioids

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Asher Schranz, MD Division of Infectious Disease Department of Medicine UNC School of Medicine

Dr. Schranz

Asher Schranz, MD
Division of Infectious Disease
Department of Medicine
UNC School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The opioid crisis has led to several major infectious diseases concerns, including HIV and Hepatitis C.

Drug use-associated infective endocarditis (DUA-IE) is a less commonly discussed consequence of the opioid epidemic. DUA-IE is an infection of one or more heart valves that occurs from injecting drugs. It can be a severe, life-threatening infection and requires a long course of intravenous antibiotics as well as, in some cases, open heart surgery to replace an infected heart valve. Several studies over the past few years have shown that DUA-IE has been increasing.

Our study examined hospital discharges in North Carolina statewide from 2007 to 2017. We sought to update trends in DUA-IE and describe how much heart valve surgery was being performed for DUA-IE. We also aimed to report the demographics of persons who are undergoing heart valve surgery for DUA-IE and the charges, lengths of stay and outcomes of these hospitalizations.  Continue reading

Study Supports Antibiotic Prophylaxis Before Dental Procedures in High Risk Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Martin H. Thornhill MBBS, BDS, PhD, MSc, FDSRCS(Edin), FDSRCSI, FDSRCS(Eng) Professor of Translational Research in Dentistry Academic Unit of Oral & Maxillofacial Medicine Surgery & Pathology, University of Sheffield School of Clinical Dentistry 

Prof. Thornhill

Martin H. Thornhill MBBS, BDS, PhD, MSc, FDSRCS(Edin), FDSRCSI, FDSRCS(Eng)
Professor of Translational Research in Dentistry
Academic Unit of Oral & Maxillofacial Medicine Surgery & Pathology,
University of Sheffield School of Clinical Dentistry 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: Infective endocarditis is an infection of the heart valves that has a high death rate (around 30% in the first year). It requires intensive treatment often involving replacement of affected heart valves and frequently results in serious long-term illness and disability in those who survive as well as an increased risk of re-infection and high healthcare costs.

In ~40% of cases, bacteria from the mouth are implicated as the causal organism. Because of this, guideline committees around the world recommended that all those at risk of infective endocarditis should receive antibiotic prophylaxis before undergoing invasive dental procedures. Due to a lack of evidence for efficacy, however, guideline committees started to limit the use of antibiotic prophylaxis. And in 2007, the American Heart Association (AHA) guideline committee recommended that antibiotic prophylaxis should continue for those at high-risk but should cease for those at moderate risk of endocarditis. Most guideline countries around the world followed suite. Except in the UK, where the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended that the use of antibiotic prophylaxis should completely stop in 2008.

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In Accordance With Guidelines, Fewer Low Risk Patients Receiving Antibiotics Before Dental Procedures

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Daniel C. DeSimone, M.D.</strong> Infectious Diseases Fellowship, Year 2 Mayo Clinic

Dr. DeSimone

Daniel C. DeSimone, M.D.
Infectious Diseases Fellowship, Year 2
Mayo Clinic

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: For over 50 years, the American Heart Association (AHA) has recommended antibiotics to be given to patients with certain cardiac conditions prior to invasive dental procedures (dental cleanings, extractions, root canals) with the hope to prevent infective endocarditis–a potentially deadly infection of the heart valves. Prevention of this infection was preferred to treatment of an established infection due to its high morbidity and mortality rates. However, in 2007, experts found that there was very little, if any, evidence that showed antibiotics prophylaxis prevented infective endocarditis prior to invasive dental procedures. Given this, the AHA revised its guidelines, significant reducing the number of patients where antibiotic prophylaxis would be given–as routine daily activities such as chewing food, tooth brushing, and flossing were much more likely to cause infective endocarditis than a single dental procedure.

For over 50 years, patients with cardiac conditions that placed them at “moderate risk” and/or “high risk” were to receive antibiotics prior to dental procedures. In 2007, the “moderate risk” group were to no longer receive antibiotic prophylaxis. This is a significantly large proportion of patients–approximately 90% of all patients who would have received antibiotic prophylaxis. Given the drastic changes made in 2007, there was concern among the medical and dental communities about whether we were leaving patients “unprotected” and at risk for infective endocarditis. Thankfully, several population based studies from our group and others across the United States have not shown an increase in the rate of infective endocarditis. However, the question remained, “Are providers following the 2007 AHA guidelines?” and “Are patients still receiving antibiotics prior to dental procedures when its no longer indicated by the guidelines?”.

This was the main focus of our paper. We were able to go into the local dental offices and at the same time, have full access to their medical records. Every dental visit between 2005 and 2015 at their dental office was reviewed; the type of dental visit, whether they received antibiotic prophylaxis or not. In addition, we could confirm their cardiac conditions that would place them at “moderate risk” or “high risk” compared to the general population.

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Study Outlines Risk Factors for Infectious Endocarditis After TAVR

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Josep Rodés-Cabau, MD Director, Catheterization and Interventional Laboratories Quebec Heart and Lung Institute Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Dr. Rodés-Cabau

Josep Rodés-Cabau, MD
Director, Catheterization and Interventional Laboratories
Quebec Heart and Lung Institute
Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Infectious endocarditis (IE) is one of the most serious complications after surgical prosthetic valve replacement. There are however scarce data regarding the incidence, predictive factors, treatment, and outcomes of IE post-TAVR. To date, the present study represents the largest series of IE post-TAVR, and the main findings can be summarized as follows: (1) the incidence of infective endocarditis (IE) post-TAVR is similar to that reported for IE after surgical prosthetic valve replacement; (2) among patients undergoing TAVR, younger age, male sex, a history of diabetes mellitus, and moderate-to-severe residual aortic regurgitation were associated with a higher risk of IE, (3) Enterococci species was the most frequently isolated pathogen, (4) IE post-TAVR was associated with a very high rate of in-hospital complications and mortality during index hospitalization and at follow-up.

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Rising Number Of Heart Infections Due To Staphylococcus Bacteria

J L Mehta, MD, PhD Professor of Medicine and Physiology and Biophysics Stebbins Chair in Cardiology University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock, AR 72205MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
J L Mehta, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine and Physiology and Biophysics
Stebbins Chair in Cardiology
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little Rock, AR 72205

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Mehta: In 2007, ACC/AHA published new guidelines regarding infective endocarditis (IE) prevention. This guideline drastically differed from the way we practiced and prescribed antibiotics to our patients when they undergo surgery or any other procedure like dental procedure, endoscopy, etc. to prevent infective endocarditis. As a result of these guideline, antibiotic use is now being restricted to only a small number of patients who have cardiac conditions that puts them at very high risk for adverse outcomes from IE. However, there is paucity of data on IE trends in the community following such a major change in practice. Therefore evaluated the trend in incidence of infective endocarditis and their outcomes before and after the advent of new guideline.

Our study has several important findings.

First, there has been a steady increase in the incidence of infective endocarditis hospitalizations over the last decade in the US. However, the incidence of IE pre- and post-inception of new antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines is not significantly different. In parallel to these findings, the rate of valve replacement for infective endocarditis did not change after the release of new guidelines in 2007.

Secondly, the increase in IE incidence was seen across all types of pathogens- Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, gram negative bacteria and fungi. The major offender involved in IE in the United States is Staphylococcus.

Finally, the rate of Streptococcus infective endocarditis related hospitalization increased significantly following the release of new guideline in the US, while Staphylococcus IE hospitalizations although on rise, did not increase significantly following the 2007 ACC/AHA guideline update.

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Endocarditis: Hospitalizations and Mortality Trends

Behnood Bikdeli, MD Yale/YNHH Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation One Church St, Suite 200 New Haven CT 0651MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Behnood Bikdeli, MD
Yale/YNHH Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation
One Church St, Suite 200
New Haven CT 0651

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?


Dr. Bikdeli: We determined the trends in hospitalizations and mortality from endocarditis among US older adults from 1999 to 2010. Endocarditis is the most serious cardiovascular infection and our study that had a very large sample, signified the high burden of endocarditis in this time period.
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