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Infective endocarditis: call for education of adults with CHD: review of the evidence

  • Laura H. Hays (a1)


Advanced surgical repair procedures have resulted in the increased survival rate to adulthood of patients with CHD. The resulting new chronic conditions population is greater than one million in the United States of America and >1.2 million in Europe. This review describes the risks and effects of infective endocarditis – a systemic infectious process with high morbidity and mortality – on this population and examines the evidence to determine whether greater patient education on recognition of symptoms and preventative measures is warranted. The literature search included the terms “infective endocarditis” and “adult congenital heart disease”. Search refinement, the addition of articles cited by included articles, as well as addition of supporting articles, resulted in utilisation of 24 articles. Infective endocarditis, defined by the modified Duke Criteria, occurs at a significantly higher rate in the CHD population due to congenitally or surgically altered cardiac anatomies and placement of prosthetic valves. This literature review returned no studies in the past five years assessing knowledge of the definition, recognition of symptoms, and preventative measures of infective endocarditis in the adult CHD population. Existing data are more than 15 years old and show significant knowledge deficits. Studies have consistently shown the need for improved CHD patient knowledge with regard to infective endocarditis, and there is no recent evidence that these knowledge deficits have decreased. It is important to address and decrease knowledge deficits in order to improve patient outcomes and decrease healthcare utilisation and costs.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: L. H. Hays, MNSc, APRN, CPNP-PC, 4301 West Markham Street, Slot 529, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205, United States of America. Tel: 501-827-2540; E-mail:


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