What Is Infective Endocarditis?: Symptoms, Complications, Treatment

It is caused by a bacterial infection in the body. If it is not cured, it can cause damage to the heart valve.

Infective Endocarditis
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Table of Contents

Types of infective endocarditis

Native valve endocarditis

It is an infection seen in patients who have valvular or heart disease that predisposes to infective endocarditis.

Prosthetic valve endocarditis

It occurs in 1 to 6% of all patients with prosthetic cardiac valves. The rates of infection of mechanical and tissue valves are similar.

Nosocomial endocarditis

It is usually a complication of bacteremia induced by an invasive procedure or a vascular device and accounts for nearly 10% of infective endocarditis in some areas. Infective endocarditis can occur after pacemaker implantation and has a mortality rate as high as 24%.

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Causes of infective endocarditis

Bacteril

  • Enterococc
  • Chlamydia
  • Staphylococcus aureus.
  • Streptococcus group A, B, and C.
  • Streptococcus pneumonia.

Fungi:

  • Candida albicans.
  • Candida parapsilosis.

Viruses:

  • Coxsackie B virus.

Symptoms of infective endocarditis

In people, symptoms come on suddenly while others develop symptoms slowly. Talk with a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms listed below. People who a high risk of endocarditis should take particular care.

Other symptoms of infective endocarditis include:

Infective endocarditis appears to be approximately standard in men as women. In the past, the disease occurred at an average age of 35 years of age.

  • Have had previous cardiac valve surgery
  • Have HIV
  • Have certain dental procedures
  • Previous infective endocarditis
  • Use intravenous drugs

High risk for infective endocarditis

You may have the risk for infective endocarditis:

  • Heart valve disease
  • A family history of endocarditis
  • History of illegal drug use
  • Artificial heart valves
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Damaged heart valve

Diagnostic evalution

·         Complete blood count.

·         Echocardiography.

·         Chest X-ray.

·         ECG.

·         Cardiac catheterization.   

Treating infective endocarditis

Infective endocarditis can cause irreversible damage to your heart. You will need to be treated in a hospital to prevent your infection from getting worse complications.

Antibiotics and initial treatment

While you are in the hospital, I will monitor your vital symptoms. In the hospital, the doctor will give you intravenous antibiotics. When you go home, you will continue oral or IV antibiotics for at least four weeks. Keep visiting your doctor regularly.

Surgery

Surgery is needed if your heart valves have been damaged. Your surgeon may recommend repairing the heart valve and early valve replacement. 

Surgery also necessary if the antibiotics are not working on your body or if the infection is fungal. 

Complications

  • Emboli (50% incidence) 
  • Right side- pulmonary emboli 
  • Left side-brain, spleen, heart, limbs etc 
  • CHF-check edema, rales 
  • Arrhythmias 
  • Death 

When to see a doctor

You have any signs or symptoms of infective endocarditis, then see your doctor as soon as possible — especially if you have any risk factors for this severe infection, such as a heart defect and history of endocarditis.

You have been diagnosing with infective endocarditis, then tell your doctor about signs or symptoms that may mean an infection is getting worse, such as:

  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shortness of breath

You’re being treated with antibiotics for infective endocarditis; tell your doctor if you develop diarrhea, itching, or joint pain. These signs and symptoms may mean you are reacting to your prescribed antibiotic.

Conclusion

Most of the people are recovering with antibiotic treatment. Recovery depends on factors including your age and the cause of your infection. 

If surgery becomes necessary, it may take longer for you to recover completely.

Do let me know in the comment box, how you have enhanced your Heart health? And are you also wanted to learn more about treatments?

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