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Improving endocarditis management: Developing guidelines and assessing implementation


Prof. Gilbert Habib.jpg

Prof. Gilbert Habib

For many years, Professor Gilbert Habib, Chair of the Cardiology Department and Director of the Echocardiography Department at La Timone Hospital (Marseille, France) and Chair of the EACVI International Communities Committee, has been a world-leading expert in the field of endocarditis.

Prof. Habib explained, “One of the reasons that I am interested in endocarditis is because imaging is very important in the management of the disease. Early diagnosis is a major challenge. I chaired the ESC guidelines on infective endocarditis in 2009 and 2015, and one of the key updates that we made in 2015 was to expand the role of imaging in the diagnostic work-up so that an early and accurate diagnosis can be reached.1 Previously, only echocardiography was useful for the diagnosis of endocarditis. However, with advances in imaging techniques, we proposed in 2015 that other imaging techniques, for example, cardiac computed tomography (CT), 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/CT and radiolabelled leucocyte single photon emission computerised tomography (SPECT)/CT should be added to new diagnostic criteria.1”

“Another reason for my interest in endocarditis is because of the team work involved,” Prof. Habib continued. “When we were developing the 2015 ESC guidelines, the need to adopt a more collaborative strategy to improve management was apparent. We introduced the new concept of the ‘Endocarditis Team’. In this multidisciplinary approach, it is recommended that cardiologists, imagers, cardiac surgeons and specialists of infectious diseases work together, with the patient at the centre, to ensure adequate treatment.”

“At the time I was working on the 2015 infective endocarditis guidelines with the ESC, I was President of the EACVI (2014–2016) and this proved a useful link. Since then, the ESC and EACVI have taken further steps together to improve the management of infective endocarditis. With my co-chair, Professor Patrizio Lancellotti (University of Liège, Belgium) and the executive committee, we have initiated the European Endocarditis Registry (EURO-ENDO) as part of ESC’s EURObservational Research Programme (EORP).”

Prof. Habib concluded, “EURO-ENDO gives us the unique opportunity to assess the characteristics of infective endocarditis, the current use of imaging techniques, as well as the correct implementation of the ESC guidelines and consequences in terms of prognosis. I have been involved in the development of the guidelines and now I am assessing their implementation—I hope these efforts will help to improve the diagnosis and management of infective endocarditis in Europe and beyond.”

  1. Habib G, et al. Eur Heart J 2015;36:3075–128.