Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies in infective endocarditis: a case report and systematic review of the literature

Inge C. van Gool, Jesper Kers, Jaap A. Bakker, Joris I. Rotmans, Y. K. Onno Teng, Martijn P. Bauer

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Abstract: Infective endocarditis (IE) may be misdiagnosed as ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV), especially when antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) are detected. Distinguishing IE from AAV is crucial to guide therapy. However, little is known about ANCA positivity in IE patients. We present a case report and systematic review of the literature on patients with ANCA-positive IE, aiming to provide a comprehensive overview of this entity and to aid clinicians in their decisions when encountering a similar case. A systematic review of papers on original cases of ANCA-positive IE without a previous diagnosis of AAV was conducted on PubMed in accordance with PRISMA-IPD guidelines. A predefined set of clinical, laboratory, and kidney biopsy findings was extracted for each patient and presented as a narrative and quantitative synthesis. A total of 74 reports describing 181 patients with ANCA-positive IE were included (a total of 182 cases including our own case). ANCA positivity was found in 18–43% of patients with IE. Patients usually presented with subacute IE (73%) and had positive cytoplasmic ANCA-staining or anti-proteinase-3 antibodies (79%). Kidney function was impaired in 72%; kidney biopsy findings were suggestive of immune complexes in 59%, while showing pauci-immune glomerulonephritis in 37%. All were treated with antibiotics; 39% of patients also received immunosuppressants. During follow-up, 69% of patients became ANCA-negative and no diagnosis of systemic vasculitis was reported. This study reviewed the largest series of patients with ANCA-positive IE thus far and shows the overlap in clinical manifestations between IE and AAV. We therefore emphasize that clinicians should be alert to the possibility of an underlying infection when treating a patient with suspected AAV, even when reassured by ANCA positivity.• This systematic review describes - to our knowledge - the largest series of patients with ANCA-positive infective endocarditis (IE) thus far (N=182), and shows a high degree of overlap in clinical manifestations between IE and ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV).• ANCA positivity was found in 18-43% of patients with infective endocarditis. Of patients with ANCA-positive IE, the majority (79%) showed cytoplasmic ANCA-staining or anti-PR3-antibodies. We emphasize that clinicians should be alert to the possibility of an underlying infection when treating a patient with suspected AAV, even when reassured by ANCA positivity.• In patients with IE and ANCA-associated symptoms such as acute kidney injury, an important clinical challenge is the initiation of immunosuppressive therapy. All patients with data in this series received antibiotics; 39% also received immunosuppressive therapy. In many of these patients, ANCA-associated symptoms resolved or stabilized after infection was treated. ANCA titers became negative in 69% , and a diagnosis of AAV was made in none of the cases. We therefore recommend that (empiric) antibiotic treatment remains the therapeutic cornerstone for ANCA-positive IE patients, while a watchful wait-and-see approach with respect to immunosuppression is advised.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical rheumatology
Early online date2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

Keywords

  • ANCA
  • ANCA-associated vasculitis
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Infective endocarditis
  • Neutrophil extracellular trap
  • Pauci-immune glomerulonephritis

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