Comparison of Cardiac Computed Tomography With Transesophageal Echocardiography for Identifying Vegetation and Intracardiac Complications in Patients With Infective Endocarditis in the Era of 3-Dimensional Images


Recent evolution of cardiac computed tomography (CT) provides useful information about valvular and perivalvular structures. We compared the diagnostic performance of CT and transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) with applications of 3-dimensionalreconstruction in detecting vegetation and intracardiac complications in patients with infective endocarditis (IE).


Seventy-five patients (53 men; age, 58±15 years) with definite IE who underwent TEE and CT with 3-dimensionalreconstruction within 3 days were analyzed. The diagnostic performances of the 2 modalities for vegetation and IE-related intracardiaccomplications (valve perforation, valve aneurysm, perivalvular abscess, pseudoaneurysm, fistula, and prosthetic valve dehiscence) were compared. The detection rate of vegetation in TEE and CT was 97.3% and 72.0%, respectively. The maximum sizes of vegetation identified by TEE and CT were well correlated (r=0.593; P<0.001), especially in patients with large vegetation (?10 mm), suggestive of a high risk of systemic embolism (r=0.608; P<0.001). However, small vegetation (<10 mm) was underdiagnosed by CT (52.8%) compared with TEE (94.4%), and the sizes of the 2 modalities were poorly correlated (r=0.187; P=0.445). Both modalities showed fair diagnostic performance for detecting IE-related intracardiac complications with excellent agreement. TEE was more useful for diagnosing valve perforation and intracardiac fistula, whereas CT was better for diagnosing perivalvular abscess.


Cardiac CT shows a comparable diagnostic performance with TEE for large vegetation and several IE-related complications. TEE is better for detecting small vegetation, valve perforation, and intracardiac fistula, whereas CT is more useful for detecting perivalvular abscess and coronary artery disease. 

PMID: 29555833

Posted in Computed Tomography.

One Comment

  1. Editorial:
    Beyond Standard Echocardiography in Infective Endocarditis: Computed Tomography, 3-Dimensional Imaging, and Multi-Imaging
    Erwan Salaun and Gilbert Habib

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