Congenital bicuspid aortic valve: steps toward providing an answer to the question of antibiotic endocarditis prophylaxis

Aaron M. Wolfson, Jeanne M. DeCara, Marion A. Hofmann Bowman


We report a case of congenital bicuspid aortic valve infective endocarditis in an 18-year-old male with no significant past medical history. He presented to the emergency department from an ophthalmology clinic with new right-eye vision changes. Initial EKG revealed sinus tachycardia and he was hemodynamically stable. Expedited diagnostic transesophageal echocardiography revealed vegetations on both aortic leaflets, an aortic root abscess, and a fistulous tract extending from the left ventricular outflow tract into the right ventricular outflow tract. Although he was evaluated by the cardiothoracic surgery team and scheduled for operative repair, he acutely became bradycardic, developed pulseless electrical activity, and was resuscitated on multiple occasions, but died suddenly from PEA arrest within 24 hours of presenting to the emergency department. This case demonstrates complications of acute bacterial endocarditis. We discuss the current debate surrounding the role of antibiotic prophylaxis for infective endocarditis. Additionally, we suggest that patients with a bicuspid aortic valve, a common congenital defect with a known increased risk for bacterial endocarditis, might represent a unique cohort to prospectively study whether antibiotic prophylaxis reduces the incidence, morbidity, and mortality of bacterial endocarditis in patients at increased risk.

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Case Reports in Internal Medicine

ISSN 2332-7243(Print)  ISSN 2332-7251(Online)

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