WEDNESDAY, Aug. 31, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For infective endocarditis cases among people who inject drugs, management is complex and requires a unique approach involving multiple specialists, including addiction-trained clinicians, according to a scientific statement issued by the American Heart Association and published online Aug. 31 in Circulation.

Larry M. Baddour, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues, including experts in the fields of infectious diseases, cardiology, addiction medicine, and cardiovascular surgery, conducted a literature review to develop recommendations on management of infective endocarditis among people who inject drugs.

The authors note that management of infective endocarditis in this population is complex and requires a unique approach to care. Management requires involvement of various specialists; for improving endocarditis outcomes, consultation by addiction-trained clinicians is as important as that of more traditional members of endocarditis care teams. For people who inject drugs and are cured of an initial bout of infective endocarditis, preventive measures are critical because they remain at extremely high risk for future episodes of infective endocarditis, irrespective of continuation of injection drug use.

“Addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry expertise, although not widely available currently, are critical specialties in these teams when managing people who inject drugs,” the authors write. “Thus, health care systems need to attract individuals with addiction training and support addiction medicine consultative services, particularly in centers where people who inject drugs with infective endocarditis are commonly seen and are expected to continue to increase.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the medical device and other industries.

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