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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Case Report of Acute Heart Failure Due to Infective Aortic Endocarditis Diagnosed by Point-of-care Ultrasound

  • Author(s): Gallagher, Ryan
  • Wilson, Michelle
  • Hite, Pamela
  • Jackson, Bradley
  • et al.

Introduction: Infective endocarditis (IE) is a life-threatening condition with significant morbidity and mortality, and can require surgical repair.

Case Report: A 36-year-old man presented to the emergency department for worsening dyspnea and chest pain. Point-of-care echocardiography demonstrated a mobile oscillating mass on the aortic valve with poor approximation of the valve leaflets, suggesting aortic valve insufficiency secondary to IE as the cause of acute heart failure. The patient underwent emergent aortic valve replacement within 24 hours.

Discussion: While point-of-care echocardiography has been well documented in identifying tricuspid vegetations, aorticvalve involvement and subsequent heart failure is less well described. Earlier recognition of aortic valve vegetations and insufficiency can expedite surgical intervention, with decreased complication rates linked to earlier antimicrobial therapy.

Conclusion: This case report highlights the ability of point-of-care ultrasound to identify aortic vegetations, allowing for the earlier diagnosis and therapy.

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