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Infective endocarditis incidentally discovered by pathological examination
  1. H Lepidi,
  2. J-P Casalta,
  3. F Gouriet,
  4. F Collart,
  5. G Habib,
  6. D Raoult
  1. Unité des Rickettsies et des Pathogènes Emergents, CNRS UMR 6020, IFR 48, Faculté de Médecine, Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France
  1. Didier Raoult, Unité des Rickettsies, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS UMR 6020, WHO Collaborative Center, IFR 48, Faculté de Médecine de la Timone, 27 Bd Jean Moulin, 13385 Marseille Cedex 5, France; Didier.Raoult{at}


We present three patients in whom a cardiac valve replacement was needed because of degenerative and supposed non-infectious damage. The excised valves showed histological features of infective endocarditis with detection of micro-organisms. This diagnosis of infective endocarditis was confirmed by other diagnostic methods. Pathological examination of cardiac valves remains the gold standard for the diagnosis of infective endocarditis, and it should be routinely performed even without suspicion of infectious process.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Ethics committee approval was obtained.