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Damage to the Aortic Valve as a Cause of Death in Bacterial Endocarditis

LAWRENCE COHEN, M.D.; and LAWRENCE R. FREEDMAN, M.D.
Ann Intern Med. 1961;55(4):562-564. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-55-4-562
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The most common cause of death in patients with bacterial endocarditis is heart failure (1). Bacteriologic cure is generally easily achieved with antibiotics, and complications such as renal failure, cerebral embolism, and rupture of mycotic aneurysms are unusual. Heart failure in bacterial endocarditis mainly results from [1] myocarditis, [2] coronary embolism, and [3] valvular deformity. The purpose of the present study is to call attention to a particular kind of valvular deformity, perforation, or erosion of the aortic valve, as the most common cause of death from bacterial endocarditis in our hospital during the past five years.

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