New research has revealed that patients with mitral valve prolapse and bicuspid aortic valve - which are congenital heart abnormalities that affect between 2% and 4% of the population (more than one million people in Spain) - they should receive antibiotic prophylaxis before undergoing oral intervention to prevent infective endocarditis, a serious heart disease with a mortality of around 30%.
The bacteria that cause infective endocarditis can reach the heart valves from the oral cavity during the manipulation performed by the dentist, so antibiotic prophylaxis was already recommended in patients suffering from severe and less frequent heart disease such as those who are operated with valvular prostheses in the heart, as explained by Dr. Pablo García-Pavia, principal author of the study and director of the Family Cardiopathies Unit of the Puerta de Hierro Hospital in Majadahonda.
Infective endocarditis is a serious heart disease, with a mortality of around 30%
The new work, which has been published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, has been based on data from more than 3,000 patients with endocarditis who had been treated in 31 Spanish hospitals. The researchers studied the characteristics of patients presenting with prolapse of the mitral valve or bicuspid aortic valve who suffered endocarditis and compared them with those of patients with endocarditis who had to receive prophylactic antibiotics and patients who are not recommended to receive it.