Objective: To determine how brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)findings impact clinical outcomes in patients with infective endocarditis (IE)and to propose a management algorithm for patients with neurologic symptoms who are candidates for valve surgery (VS). Patients and Methods: Data from our center were retrospectively reviewed for patients hospitalized with IE between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2014. Outcomes were postoperative intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), 6-month mortality, and functional outcome at last follow-up as described by the modified Rankin Scale (mRS)score. Good outcome was defined as an mRS score of 2 or less. Results: A total of 361 patients with IE were identified, including 127 patients (35%)who had MRI. One hundred twenty-six of 361 patients (35%)had neurologic symptoms, which prompted MRI in 79 of 127 patients (62%); 74 of 79 (94%)had acute or subacute MRI abnormalities. One patient with subarachnoid and multifocal ICH on MRI developed postoperative ICH. Patients with VS despite MRI abnormalities had lower 6-month mortality (odds ratio [OR], 0.17; 95% CI, 0.06-0.48; P<.001)and better functional outcome (OR, 4.43; 95% CI, 1.51-13.00; P=.005). Irrespective of VS, lobar or posterior fossa ICH on MRI was associated with 6-month mortality (OR, 3.58; 95% CI, 1.22-10.50; P=.02)and territorial ischemic stroke was inversely associated with good mRS (OR, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.13-0.66; P=.002). In neurologically asymptomatic patients who had VS, MRI findings did not impact 6-month mortality or functional outcomes. Conclusion: Magnetic resonance imaging detects a large number of abnormalities in patients with IE. Preoperative lobar hematoma and large territorial stroke determine outcome irrespective of VS. When indicated, VS increases the odds of a good outcome despite MRI abnormalities.
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