Infective endocarditis (IE) is an uncommon clinical problem with diverse, nonspecific presentations. Therefore, information on the clinical features of IE patients presenting to emergency departments (EDs) is scarce. To descriptively analyze the pertinent data, we performed a retrospective chart review. We reviewed 15 consecutive IE patients admitted directly from ED in a university hospital in Japan between 2013 and 2015. We compared their clinical features with those of 14 IE patients admitted during the same period without ED presentations. Patients admitted directly from ED were older than those without ED presentations (median, 78 vs. 52 years; adjusted p = 0.036) and were more likely to have come without referrals (referral rate, 21% vs. 86%; adjusted p = 0.012). These patients were less likely to have been treated with antibiotics before admission (antibiotic-exposure rate, 7% vs. 64%; adjusted p = 0.013) and had earlier blood-culture positivity (median, 2 vs. 5 days; adjusted p = 0.012), resulting in earlier diagnosis (median duration of symptoms before diagnosis, 5 vs. 30 days; adjusted p = 0.012). Other clinical features, including causative pathogens and IE-related comorbidities, were similar between the groups, consistent with previous a nationwide Japanese study. In conclusion, most IE patients admitted to the hospital from ED were elderly, were antibiotic-naïve, and had presented without a referral. Relatively few patients had classical presentations of IE. Given the limited data, more research is needed to confirm that IE patients presenting to EDs constitute a unique group of elderly patients with specific clinical features.
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