Simplified risk stratification criteria for identification of patients with MRSA bacteremia at low risk of infective endocarditis: implications for avoiding routine transesophageal echocardiography in MRSA bacteremia

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European journal of clinical microbiology & infectious diseases : official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology


The aim of this study was to identify patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia with low risk of infective endocarditis (IE) who might not require routine trans-esophageal echocardiography (TEE). We retrospectively evaluated 398 patients presenting with MRSA bacteremia for the presence of the following clinical criteria: intravenous drug abuse (IVDA), long-term catheter, prolonged bacteremia, intra-cardiac device, prosthetic valve, hemodialysis dependency, vertebral/nonvertebral osteomyelitis, cardio-structural abnormality. IE was diagnosed using the modified Duke criteria. Of 398 patients with MRSA bacteremia, 26.4 % of cases were community-acquired, 56.3 % were health-care-associated, and 17.3 % were hospital-acquired. Of the group, 44 patients had definite IE, 119 had possible IE, and 235 had a rejected diagnosis. Out of 398 patients, 231 were evaluated with transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) or TEE. All 44 patients with definite IE fulfilled at least one criterion (sensitivity 100 %). Finally, a receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve was obtained to evaluate the total risk score of our proposed criteria as a predictor of the presence of IE, and this was compared to the ROC curve of a previously proposed criteria. The area under the ROC curve for our criteria was 0.710, while the area under the ROC curve for the criteria previously proposed was 0.537 (p < 0.001). The p-value for comparing those 2 areas was less than 0.001, indicating statistical significance. Patients with MRSA bacteremia without any of our proposed clinical criteria have very low risk of developing IE and may not require routine TEE.

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Adult; Bacteremia; Catheters, Indwelling; Defibrillators, Implantable; Echocardiography, Transesophageal; Endocarditis, Bacterial; Female; Humans; Male; Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus; Middle Aged; ROC Curve; Retrospective Studies; Risk; Staphylococcal Infections; Substance Abuse, Intravenous

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