Increased Risk of Ischemic Stroke After Treatment of Infective Endocarditis: A Danish, Nationwide, Propensity Score-Matched Cohort Study

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BACKGROUND: Several studies have reported a high risk of ischemic stroke (IS) during the acute phase of infective endocarditis (IE). The long-term risk of IS after IE, however, is not fully illuminated.

METHODS: This Danish, nationwide, register-based, propensity score-matched cohort study used Cox regression to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of IS for persons with vs without a history of left-sided IE, from 1977 to 2015.

RESULTS: We followed 9312 patients exposed to a first-time IE and 91 996 nonexposed, matched control persons. Compared to persons without IE, patients with a history of IE had a significantly increased risk of IS; the risk was highest during the first 4 weeks after IE diagnosis (HR 57.20, 95% confidence interval [CI] 45.58-71.78; P < .0001) and a moderately elevated risk persisted until 2 years after IE (4 weeks to 3 months after IE, HR 5.40, 95% CI 4.11-7.19; 3 months to 2 years after IE, HR 1.73, 95% CI 1.48-2.01). Mediation analyses showed that the higher risk of IS the first 2 years after IE could not be explained by atrial fibrillation (AF) or inserted mechanical valves in IE patients. In the period from 4 weeks to 3 months after IE diagnosis, patients treated with anticoagulative therapy had a lower risk of IS (HR 0.30, 95% CI .10-0.96; P = .04).

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with a history of IE had an increased risk of IS for up to 2 years after IE diagnosis. The increased risk was unrelated to AF and inserted mechanical valves. During the initial phase after IE, patients taking an anticoagulative medication had a lower risk of IS.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1186-1192
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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