Valve surgery for infective endocarditis complicated by stroke: surgical timing and perioperative neurological complications

L. Q. Zhang, S. M. Cho, C. J. Rice, J. Khoury, R. J. Marquardt, A. B. Buletko, J. Hardman, D. Wisco, K. Uchino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background and purpose: Ischaemic and hemorrhagic strokes are dreaded complications of infective endocarditis (IE). The timing of valve surgery for IE patients with stroke remains uncertain. The aim was to study perioperative neurological complications in relation to surgical timing. Methods: The study cohort consisted of patients diagnosed with acute IE from January 2010 to December 2016. Early surgery was defined as valve surgery within 14 days of IE diagnosis, and late surgery as after 14 days. Neurological complications that occurred within 14 days post-surgery were considered perioperative and classified as new ischaemic stroke or hemorrhagic stroke, expansion of an existing intracranial hemorrhage and new-onset seizures. Perioperative neurological complications were compared by surgical timing and other variables, including pre-surgical imaging. Results: Overall, 183 patients underwent valve surgery: 92 had early surgery at a median of 8 days (interquartile range 6–11); 91 had late surgery at a median of 28 days (interquartile range 19–50). Twenty patients (10.9%) had 24 complications: 11 ischaemic, six intraparenchymal hemorrhages, three subarachnoid hemorrhages (SAHs) and four new-onset seizures. Rates of neurological complications were similar for early and late surgery groups (10.9% vs. 11%). Enterococcal IE was more common amongst patients with perioperative neurological complications (35% vs. 12.3%, P < 0.01). An acute infarct was present on pre-surgical magnetic resonance imaging of 134 patients (74%) and was not associated with perioperative neurological complications. Thirty-five patients (19.3%) had intracranial hemorrhage on pre-surgical imaging. SAH on pre-surgical imaging was associated with developing SAH perioperatively (66.7% vs. 13.5%, P < 0.01). Conclusion: Early valve surgery for patients with IE complicated by stroke was not associated with perioperative neurological complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2430-2438
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • embolic stroke
  • infective endocarditis
  • intracranial hemorrhage
  • perioperative complications
  • septic emboli
  • valve replacement
  • valve surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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