Before the advent of antibiotics, infective endocarditis was almost
always fatal. With the introduction of penicillin in 1941, endocarditis became
a treatable disease. However, many patients still died, predominantly of congestive
heart failure resulting from valve destruction.1
In 1960, Kay et al2 successfully performed
tricuspid valve debridement and closure of a ventricular septal defect in
a patient with active Candida endocarditis. For patients
with endocarditis, cardiac valve replacement surgery was initially performed
to replace damaged valves only after the successful eradication of infection.
In 1965, Wallace et al3 described a patient
with active endocarditis who failed to respond to antibiotics alone but was
cured by the combination of valve replacement and antibiotics.
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