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Endocarditis

Endocarditis is an inflammation of the inner layer of the heart the endocardium . Infection can damage or destroy the heart valves and damage the heart. Endocarditis can be classified by etiology as either infective or non-infective depending on whether a microorganism is the source of the problem. Endocarditis typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and lodge in your heart. Untreated, this bacterial infection gradually damages the endocardium and causes the heart valve to malfunction. Infection can spread to the bloodstream (septicemia) and to other parts of the body. Endocarditis is rare in people with healthy hearts. People at greatest risk of endocarditis have a damaged heart valve, an artificial heart valve or other heart defects. The immune system usually kills these organisms, but sometimes they survive and affect the heart valve or another section of the endocardium. This can cause build up of nodules , or vegetations, on the valves. Endocarditis is an uncommon but serious condition which can be life threatening.

Endocarditis is a serious infection of one of the four heart valves. patients with congenital (i.e., present at birth) or acquired heart conditions (e.g., atrial septal defects, valve disease). The infection may begin at the time of a dental or medical procedure in someone who has a predisposing abnormality of their heart. Activities such as chewing or having a bowel movement typically push some bacteria into the bloodstream. The most accurate method of detecting valve vegetations is with a procedure called transesophagel echocardiogram (TEE). An echo-transducer is placed on the tip of a flexible endoscope. Once the bacteria have "set up shop", they have access to a wonderful source of nutrition the patient's bloodstream which contains all of the materials they could want. These can act like clots, blocking off flow in the arteries where they travel. Furthermore, they can spread the infection to multiple places in the body. On the other hand, if the infecting bacteria is a very aggressive type, the patient may be severely ill from the onset. If you're at risk of endocarditis, you may need antibiotics before certain medical or dental procedures. Also watch for signs and symptoms of infection. Prompt treatment can help you avoid this serious condition.

Causes of Endocarditis

The common Causes of Endocarditis :s

  • As the illness progresses, small dark lines, called splinter hemorrhages , may appear under the fingernails.
  • Urinary procedures, such as having a catheter in your bladder.
  • The organisms that cause NIE obviously are related to the type of underlying bacteremia.
  • Saureus is the most common bacteria found in patients with IVDA IE. Groups A, C, and G streptococci and enterococci are also recovered from patients with IVDA IE.
  • The infection can cause growths on the heart valves, the lining of the heart, or the lining of the blood vessels. These growths may be dislodged and send clots to the brain, lungs, kidneys, or spleen
  • Having immune system problems, such as HIV infection, certain types of cancer, or an organ transplant.
  • The infection that leads to endocarditis can be caused by bacteria, fungi, or other microorganisms that enter your bloodstream.
  • But if the heart has certain abnormalities, in which blood flow is obstructed or abnormally pooled (i.e., cardiac arrhythmias or valvular defects), the bacteria can lodge there and cause an infection.

Symptoms of Endocarditis

Some Symptoms of Endocarditis :

  • Abnormal urine color.
  • Shortness of breath with activity.
  • Heart murmur.
  • Chills.
  • Muscle aches and pains.
  • Weight loss.
  • Weakness.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Fever.
  • Sweating, excessive.
  • Fatigue.
  • Paleness.
  • Joint pain.
  • Night sweats, may be severe.

Treatment of Endocarditis

  • Treatment is usually administered for 4-6 weeks, depending on the organism.
  • Surgery is often required for treatment of metastatic infections (eg, cerebral and other types of aneurysms and macroabscesses of the brain and spleen).
  • Hospitalization is required initially to administer intravenous antibiotics.
  • Surgical removal of the valve is necessary in patients who fail to clear micro-organisms from their blood in response to antibiotic therapy, or in patients who develop cardiac failure resulting from destruction of a valve by infection.
  • Complications such as heart failure , and renal failure should be treated with medications and dialysis respectively.
  • However, there is new evidence to suggest that certain kinds of bacterial infections of prosthetic valves can be treated with just antibiotics.
  • Long-term, high-dose antibiotic trearment is required to eradicate the bacteria from the vegetations on the valves.
  • If heart failure develops as a result of damaged heart valves, surgery to replace the affected heart valve may be indicated.

 


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