A study of twenty-five cases of prosthetic valve endocarditis suggests that the antibiotics used for perioperative prophylaxis may alter the type and antibiotic sensitivity of organisms which subsequently infect the artificial valves. Based on the results of this study, the authors have been able to modify their prophylactic regime to encompass these organisms and to predict the antibiotics most likely to be effective in the treatment of prosthetic valve endocarditis in their unit. No single prophylactic or therapeutic regime will be equally effective in all centres, but by examining the different types and sensitivities of bacteria which cause prosthetic valve endocarditis in a locality, antibiotic regimes can be chosen which best suit the local situation.
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