The clinical and prognostic implications of the echocardiogram were assessed in 32 patients with clinical aortic valve endocarditis. Seventeen patients had an echocardiographic diagnosis of a vegetation, a flail cusp, or a root abscess (group 1). Ten group 1 patients had embolic episodes. Eight group 1 patients were treated surgically and all survived, while nine group 1 patients were treated medically and two survived. Eleven patients had echocardiographic aortic valve sclerosis (group 2). One group 2 patient had an embolic episode. Six group 2 patients were treated surgically and four survived, while five group 2 patients were treated medically and three survived. Four patients had normal aortic valve echograms (group 3). One group 3 patient had an embolic episode. All group 3 patients were treated medically and survived.
(Arch Intern Med 139:862-866, 1979)