Valvectomy Versus Replacement for the Surgical Treatment of Tricuspid Endocarditis

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Background: Optimal surgical treatment of infective tricuspid endocarditis is debatable, especially in the setting of inherent social and pathologic concerns. This study compared tricuspid valve repair, replacement, and excision for the treatment of infective endocarditis Methods: A single-center cardiac surgery database was queried to identify patients aged older than 18 years who underwent tricuspid valve operations for infective endocarditis between 2012 and 2016. Patients were divided into three groups by the type of tricuspid valve operation: valvectomy, repair, or replacement. Patients were evaluated to identify differences between preoperative factors and outcomes, including death, length of stay, and complications. Results: During the study period, 63 patients underwent surgical treatment of infective tricuspid valve endocarditis. Demographic and baseline characteristics were comparable across all groups, except that the valve repair group was older compared with valvectomy and replacement (46 vs 29 and 31 years, respectively; p = 0.007), with more hypertension, elevated creatinine, and a lower incidence of diffuse, bilateral pulmonary emboli. Staphylococcus species were the most common organisms. The incidence of death, bleeding requiring reoperation, major stroke, prolonged ventilator time, intensive care unit stay, and overall hospital length of stay were similar in all groups. Of patients undergoing initial valvectomy, 36% were available for follow-up at 1 year, highlighting the challenges associated with the intravenous drug abuse cohort. Patients who underwent tricuspid valvectomy in the group available for follow-up had significantly lower unplanned readmission rates at 1 year. Conclusions: Tricuspid valve endocarditis patients who undergo tricuspid valve excision, repair, and replacement have similar 30-day operative mortality, as defined by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Excision patients have significantly lower unplanned readmission rates at 1 year. Tricuspid valvectomy is an acceptable initial treatment in this high-risk group as part of a surgical strategy to identify patients who are candidates for eventual valve replacement. Further study of long-term outcomes and survival is warranted.




Protos, A. N., Trivedi, J. R., Whited, W. M., Rogers, M. P., Owolabi, U., Grubb, K. J., … Slaughter, M. S. (2018). Valvectomy Versus Replacement for the Surgical Treatment of Tricuspid Endocarditis. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 106(3), 664–669.

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