What is endocarditis?

  • The inflammation of the inner layer (endocardium) of heart chambers and valves is called endocarditis.
  • If this inflammation is caused by infection, it is called infective endocarditis.
  • This condition can cause abnormal growth in the heart valve or inside the heart.
  • Over time, this abnormal growth can destroy heart tissue, leading to heart failure or heart-related problems.
  • This can also cause a stroke if they block the blood vessels in the brain.
  • Early treatment gives beneficial outcomes and preventing complications.

What are the causes of endocarditis?

  • Bacterial infection
  • Fungal infection
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Cancer

What are the symptoms of endocarditis?

  • Fever with chills
  • Muscle spasms
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in feet & ankles
  • Night sweats
  • Heart murmurs

Who increases the risk of developing endocarditis?

  • H/o of heart valve replacement surgery
  • Abnormal or damaged heart valve
  • H/o endocarditis
  • Congenital heart defect
  • Intravenous drug abuse
  • Dental procedures

What are the complications of endocarditis?

  • Heart failure: Due to valvular insufficiency and blocks in coronary arteries from valvular vegetations.
  • Valvular regurgitation: Due to conduction abnormalities.
  • Brain stroke

How is endocarditis diagnosed?

  • Blood test & blood culture: To rule out the infection, inflammation & causative organism
  • Chest X-ray
  • CT scan
  • Echocardiogram ( Transesophageal echocardiogram): To evaluate valvular dysfunction
  • Electrocardiogram: To check the electrical activity of the heart

How is endocarditis treated?

  • Intravenous antibiotic therapy for 4 to 6 weeks
  • If endocarditis caused by abnormal or damaged heart valve, replacement of a heart valve is done

How is endocarditis prevented?

  • Reduce the risk of developing infective endocarditis by maintaining good hygienic techniques.

Antibiotic prophylactic therapy in case of flu-like symptoms may reduce the recurrent endocarditis and relevant risk factors

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