Appropriate use of echocardiography in managing Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia

Bharath Raj Palraj, Muhammad R. Sohail

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB) is increasing, both in the community and in healthcare settings. Accurate and timely diagnosis of underlying infective endocarditis (IE) is critical for optimal management of SAB cases as it has significant management and prognostic implications. Reported prevalence of IE in patients with SAB varies depending on the study population, and ranges from 10 to 30%. As clinical presentation of IE can be nonspecific, echocardiography is usually recommended in SAB cases to 'rule out' IE. Due to its poor sensitivity (<50%), especially for diagnosing prosthetic valve IE, transthoracic echocardiography is considered inadequate in this setting and clinicians have to rely on transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) to confirm or exclude endocarditis in SAB cases. Although some experts recommend TEE in all patients presenting with SAB, it is believed that the use of TEE could be guided by individual patient risk factors, mode of acquisition of SAB and clinical presentation. In this article, published data regarding the use of TEE in the SAB population are reviewed and a simplified algorithm to guide use of TEE in SAB cases is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-508
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • bacteremia
  • bloodstream infection
  • endocarditis
  • infection
  • management
  • transesophageal echocardiogram

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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