NEW YORK, July 6 (Praxis Press) The current American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent infectious endocarditis (IE), recommend echocardiography to determine IE risk in patients with suspected valvular lesions. Based on AHA clinical and echocardiography criteria, a retrospective survey classified patients who underwent outpatient transthoracic echocardiography into three risk categories (high, moderate, negligible) and evaluated to check if physician recommendations regarding IE prophylaxis were consistent with AHA guidelines. Most high-risk patients, but only 55 of 90 moderate-risk patients, reported receiving physician instructions to take IE prophylaxis. Contrary to AHA guidelines, 29 of 110 patients in the negligible-risk category reported receiving instructions to take IE prophylaxis. IE prophylaxis over-use among patients with negligible risk and under-use among moderate-risk patients was common.

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