To study the impact of anticoagulation on major cerebral events in patients with left-sided Staphylococcus aureus infective endocarditis (IE).
A prospective cohort study; the use of anticoagulation and the relation to major cerebral events was evaluated separately at onset of admission and during hospitalization.
Overall, 70 out of 175 patients (40%; 95% CI: 33-47%) experienced major cerebral events during the course of the disease, cerebral ischaemic stroke occured in 59 patients (34%; 95% CI: 27-41%), cerebral infection in 23 patients (14%; 95% CI: 9-19%), and cerebral haemorrhage in 5 patients (3%; 95% CI: 0.5-6%). Patients receiving anticoagulation were less likely to have experienced a major cerebral event at the time of admission (15%) compared with those without anticoagulation (37%, p = 0.009; adjusted OR: 0.27; 95% CI: 0.075-0.96; p = 0.04). In-hospital mortality was 23% (95% CI: 17-29%), and there was no significant difference between those with or without anticoagulation.
We found no increased risk of cerebral haemorrhage in S. aureus IE patients receiving anticoagulation. Anticoagulation was associated with a reduced risk of cerebral events before initiation of antibiotics. Data support the continuance of anticoagulation in S. aureus IE patients when indicated.