Recombinant tissue plasminogen activator as a novel treatment option for infective endocarditis: A retrospective clinical study in 32 children

Aviva Levitas, Hanna Krymko, Justin Richardson, Eli Zalzstein, Viktoriya Ioffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Infective endocarditis is a life-threatening infectious syndrome, with high morbidity and mortality. Current treatments for infective endocarditis include intravenous antibiotics, surgery, and involve a lengthy hospital stay. We hypothesised that adjunctive recombinant tissue plasminogen activator treatment for infective endocarditis may facilitate faster resolution of vegetations and clearance of positive blood cultures, and therefore decrease morbidity and mortality. This retrospective study included follow-up of patients, from 1997 through 2014, including clinical presentation, causative organism, length of treatment, morbidity, and mortality. We identified 32 patients, all of whom were diagnosed with endocarditis and were treated by recombinant tissue plasminogen activator. Among all, 27 patients (93%) had positive blood cultures, with the most frequent organisms being Staphylococcus epidermis (nine patients), Staphylococcus aureus (six patients), and Candida (nine patients). Upon treatment, in 31 patients (97%), resolution of vegetations and clearance of blood cultures occurred within hours to few days. Out of 32 patients, one patient (3%) died and three patients (9%) suffered embolic or haemorrhagic events, possibly related to the recombinant tissue plasminogen activator. None of the patients required surgical intervention to assist vegetation resolution. In conclusion, it appears that recombinant tissue plasminogen activator may become an adjunctive treatment for infective endocarditis and may decrease morbidity as compared with current guidelines. Prospective multi-centre studies are required to validate our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-115
Number of pages6
JournalCardiology in the Young
Issue number1
StatePublished - 22 Dec 2014


  • Infective endocarditis
  • recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA)
  • retrospective study
  • vegetation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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