Cureus. 2021 Aug 16;13(8):e17218. doi: 10.7759/cureus.17218. eCollection 2021 Aug.
Introduction Due to high levels of intravenous drug use (IVDU) in West Virginia (WV), there are increasing numbers of hospitalizations for infective endocarditis (IE). More specifically, pregnant patients with IE are a uniquely challenging population, with complex management and a clinical course that further affects the health of the fetus, with high morbidity and mortality. Timely recognition and awareness of the most common bacterial causes will provide hospitals and clinicians with valuable information to manage future patients. Methods This retrospective study analyzed the clinical course of pregnant patients admitted with IE and IVDU history presenting at Cabell Huntington Hospital from 2013 to 2018. Inclusion criteria were women between 16 and 45 years of age confirmed to be pregnant by urine pregnancy test and ultrasonography with at least eight weeks gestation, with a first-time diagnosis of endocarditis and an identified history of IVDU. We excluded charts with pre-existing risk factors including a history of valvular disease, rheumatic heart disease, surgical valve repair or mechanical valve replacement, or a diagnosis of coagulopathies. The resulting charts were evaluated for isolated organisms, reported clinical course, and complications of the pregnancy. Results A total of 10 patients were identified, with methicillin-susceptible and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Serratia marcescens, Haemophilus parainfluenza, and Enterococcus faecalis species. Complications included loss of fetus (30%), septic embolization (40%), hemorrhagic stroke (10%), and transfer to outside facilities for cardiothoracic surgical intervention (40%). Discussion IE in pregnancy, while rare, has serious complications. In the context of the IVDU epidemic, it has an increasing impact on WV hospitals. A better understanding of the clinical course may allow for early diagnosis and guide the development of rational empiric therapies. More effective management of IE in pregnant patients can reduce complications and potentially improve maternal and fetal morbidity or mortality.