Imaging techniques for diagnosis of infective endocarditis.
With the ability to structurally characterize cardiac manifestations, echocardiography is used for the diagnosis and management of infective endocarditis. In establishing the diagnosis according to the Duke criteria, the findings of endocardial involvement (vegetation, abscess, prosthetic valve dehiscence) or new valvular regurgitation represent "major" diagnostic criteria. As echocardiography cannot reliably differentiate noninfective from infective lesions, however, proper diagnosis lies in correlating echocardiography with clinical findings. The more invasive transesophageal approach provides substantially greater image resolution; this approach should be considered first in the evaluation of patients with higher prior probabilities of endocarditis and those with potential endocardial complications.
Sachdev, M; Peterson, GE; Jollis, JG
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