Background: Compliance with the April 2007 American Heart Association (AHA) infective endocarditis (IE) guidelines is not well described. We sought to evaluate the impact of these guidelines on the clinical practices of pediatric and adult congenital cardiologists. Methods: We conducted a 2-centre retrospective cohort study, including patients who had at least 1 outpatient cardiology visit after April 1, 2008 and had 1 of 11 prespecified high- or low-risk congenital cardiac lesions. High-risk lesions required prophylaxis per the AHA guidelines; low-risk patients no longer required prophylaxis. Cardiology clinic letters were reviewed to determine if antibiotic prophylaxis and oral hygiene were addressed and whether prophylaxis was recommended. Comparisons were made before April 2007 vs at least 1 year after guideline publication. Results: We included 238 high-risk and 201 low-risk patients. IE prophylaxis was recommended for all study patients before April 2007. After April 2008, IE prophylaxis recommendations were reduced by 44.9% for low-risk patients (P < 0.0001) and 9.3% for high-risk patients (P = 0.0156). IE prophylaxis recommendations were documented in the medical record of 92% of patients (95% confidence interval, 88%-95%) before April 2007 vs 81% (77%-84%) after April 2008. Oral hygiene was emphasized for only 44% and 28% of patients before and after guideline revision (P = 0.0005). Conclusions: The 2007 AHA guidelines resulted in significantly fewer recommendations for IE prophylaxis in low-risk patients. However, cardiologists continue to recommend prophylaxis for some low-risk patients and advise some high-risk patients against prophylaxis. These findings suggest disagreement or uncertainty within the cardiology community regarding current IE guidelines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine