September 1966

Pneumococcal Endocarditis in the Penicillin Era

Author Affiliations


From the Infectious Disease Division, Department of Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and the Cincinnati General Hospital.

Arch Intern Med. 1966;118(3):190-198. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.00290150004003

A SIGNIFICANT reduction in the incidence of pneumococcal endocarditis has occurred since the introduction of penicillin. Though 15% of Thayer's 1 536 cases of endocarditis prior to 1931 were caused by pneumococci, recently published series 2,3 indicate that the pneumococcus now accounts for less than 3% of all cases. Though pneumococcal endocarditis was with rare exceptions invariably a disease of hopeless prognosis 4,5 before the discovery of penicillin, evaluation of the impact of penicillin therapy upon prognosis has been hampered by the low incidence of the disease. The present report is based on a study of 15 cases of penicillin-treated pneumococcal endocarditis seen at the Cincinnati General Hospital during the last 20 years. In addition, 29 cases from the English literature are reviewed.

Clinical Material  The records of all cases of pneumococcal endocarditis at the Cincinnati General Hospital from 1945 to 1965 were reviewed. The diagnosis of endocarditis was established

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