Background: Multimodality imaging is recommended to diagnose infective endocarditis. Value of additional imaging to echocardiography in patients selected by a previously proposed flowchart has not been evaluated. Methods: An observational single-center study was performed. Adult patients suspected of endocarditis/device infection were prospectively and consecutively enrolled from March 2016 to August 2017. Adherence to a diagnostic imaging-in-endocarditis-flowchart was evaluated in 176 patients. Imaging techniques were compared head-to-head in 46 patients receiving echocardiography (transthoracic plus transesophageal), multi-detector computed tomography angiography (MDCTA), and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET/CT). Results: 69% of patients (121/176) adhered to the flowchart. Sensitivity of echocardiography, MDCTA, FDG-PET/CT in patients without prosthesis was 71%, 57%, 29% (86% when combined), while specificity was 100%, 75%, 100%, respectively. Sensitivity in patients with prosthesis was 75%, 75%, 83%, respectively (100% when combined), while specificity was 86% for all three modalities. Echocardiography performed best in the assessment of vegetations, morphological valve abnormalities/dehiscence, septum defects, and fistula formation. MDCTA performed best in the assessment of abscesses and ventricular assist device infection. FDG-PET/CT performed best in the assessment of cardiac device infection, extracardiac infectious foci, and alternative diagnoses. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the evaluated imaging-in-endocarditis-flowchart is applicable in daily clinical practice. Echocardiography, MDCTA, and FDG-PET/CT provide relevant complementary diagnostic information, particularly in patients with intracardiac prosthetic material.
- diagnostic and prognostic application
- valvular heart disease