Libman-Sacks Endocarditis: Detection, Characterization, and Clinical Correlates by Three-Dimensional Transesophageal Echocardiography. Academic Article uri icon


  • Libman-Sacks endocarditis, characterized by Libman-Sacks vegetations, is common in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and is commonly complicated with embolic cerebrovascular disease. Thus, accurate detection of Libman-Sacks vegetations may lead to early therapy and prevention of their associated complications. Although two-dimensional (2D) transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) has high diagnostic value for detection of Libman-Sacks vegetations, three-dimensional (3D) TEE may allow improved detection, characterization, and clinical correlations of Libman-Sacks vegetations.Twenty-nine patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (27 women; mean age, 34 ± 12 years) prospectively underwent 40 paired 3D and 2D transesophageal echocardiographic studies and assessment of cerebrovascular disease manifested as acute clinical neurologic syndromes, neurocognitive dysfunction, or focal brain injury on magnetic resonance imaging. Initial and repeat studies in patients were intermixed in a blinded manner with paired studies from healthy controls, deidentified, coded, and independently interpreted by experienced observers unaware of patients' clinical and imaging data.The results of 3D TEE compared with 2D TEE were more often positive for mitral or aortic valve vegetations, and 3D TEE detected more vegetations per study and determined larger sizes of vegetations (P ≤ .03 for all). Also, 3D TEE detected more vegetations on the anterior mitral leaflet, anterolateral and posteromedial scallops, and ventricular side or both atrial and ventricular sides of the leaflets (P < .05 for all). In addition, 3D TEE detected more vegetations on the aortic valve left and noncoronary cusps, coronary cusps' tips and margins, and aortic side or both aortic and ventricular sides of the cusps (P ≤ .01 for all). Furthermore, 3D TEE more often detected associated mitral or aortic valve commissural fusion (P = .002). Finally, 3D TEE detected more vegetations in patients with cerebrovascular disease (P = .01).Three-dimensional TEE provides clinically relevant additive information that complements 2D TEE for the detection, characterization, and association with cerebrovascular disease of Libman-Sacks endocarditis.Published by Elsevier Inc.

publication date

  • March 2015