Infective endocarditis in maintenance hemodialysis patients: Fifteen years' experience in one medical center

Chao Fu Chang, Benjamin Ing Tiau Kuo, Te Li Chen, Wu Chang Yang, Shou Dong Lee, Chih Ching Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background: Infective endocarditis (IE) is a serious infectious condition, with high morbidity and mortality in hemodialysis (HD) patients. This study was undertaken to determine the IE risk factors in maintenance HD patients, and the mortality risk factors. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all IE cases of maintenance HD patients at our center over the past 15 yrs (the study group). Regular HD patients without IE in the same period were used as the control group. The basic data of the two groups were analyzed to determine IE risk factors in HD patients. The in-hospital parameters of survival and mortality in the study group patients were used for mortality risk factors analysis. Results: There were 18 definite, and two possible, IE diagnoses in the study group and no cases in the 268 controls. There was no significant difference in age, sex, diabetes, hypertension, underlying malignancy, previous cerebral vascular accident (CVA) history, and calcium multiplied by phosphate product. There was a significant difference between the two groups (study group vs. controls) in pacemaker implant history (15 vs. 1.1%, p<0.01), previous heart surgery history (15 vs. 0.4%, p<0.01), congestive heart failure (CHF) (50 vs. 10.4%, p<0.05), duration on maintenance HD (12.9 ± 19.1 vs. 57.9 ± 42.3 months, p< 0.001), serum albumin at the time of admission (2.91 ± 0.40 vs. 3.96 ± 0.52 g/dL, p<0.001). There were more patients dialyzed via non-cuffed dual-lumen catheters in the study group (55 vs. 0%, p< 0.001), and fewer patients dialyzed via arteriovenous fistula. (AVF) (25 vs. 87.7%, p<0.001). The mortality in HD patients with IE was high (60%), especially in patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) endocarditis (100%). The most common pathogen was S. aureus (n=12). MRSA was more common than methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) (67 vs. 33%). Univariant analysis of in-hospital clinical parameters for mortality revealed no significant difference in age, diabetes, dual-lumen catheter implantation, serum albumin, time to diagnosis, and time to antibiotic use. Borderline statistical significance was noted in serum C-reactive protein (CRP) (p=0.051), and blood glucose level (p=0.056). There were more IE cases due to MRSA in the mortality group than in the survival group (8 vs. 0 cases, p=0.013), but fewer cases due to MSSA (0 vs. 4 cases, p=0.050). Conclusions: IE should be considered in HD patients with the following risk factors, which include previous heart surgery or pacemaker implantation, shorter HD duration, and especially for patients dialyzed via dual-lumen catheters. The in-hospital clinical parameters including CRP and blood sugar level can offer information concerning prognosis. Since MRSA has increased in recent years and is associated with high mortality, strategies for prevention and treatment require development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-235
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nephrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Echocardiogram
  • Hemodialysis
  • Infective endocarditis
  • Methicillin-resistant S. aureus


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