Endocarditis

By: Aroma Gelani & Andrea Navarro

What is Endocarditis; who most likely gets it?

Endocarditis is commonly known as the inflammation of the heart or an infection of the inner lining of the heart. It is most common in people with damaged heart valves, artificial heart valves or other heart defects.

Symptoms:

  • fevers and chills
  • fatigue
  • aching joints and muscles
  • swelling of legs, feet or abdomen
  • night sweats
  • blood in your urine
  • tenderness of your spleen
  • paleness
  • unexplained weight loss.
These are just to name a few...

Diagnosis:

The diagnosis of Endocarditis is often based on many factors, rather than one simple test. For example:


  • blood tests
  • echocardiography: (painless tests, using sound waves to create a picture of your heart)
  • transthoracic echo: (painless test, gel is applied to your chest and sounds are again, used to create a picture of your heart on the screen as a device moves around your thoracic region.)
  • EKG: (test that detects your hearts electrical activity; determining whether your heart is moving fast, slow, or irregular.)

How is endocarditis treated?

There are two different types of treatments for Endocarditis, antibiotics and surgery.

Antibiotics:

  • blood tests help identify the type of microorganism that is infecting your heart
  • doctors choose the the best antibiotic or combination of antibiotics to fight the infection
Surgery:

if the infection damages your heart valves then you may have symptoms and complications for years after treatment.

  • surgery may be needed to treat persistent infections or to replace a damaged valve
  • surgery may also be needed to treat endocarditis that is caused by a fungal infection

Endocarditis prognosis

Untreated, infective endocarditis is always fatal,and it's prognosis is poor in older people, people who have an infection with resistant organisms, and with people with aortic and multiple valve involvement. Bacterial endocarditis however, is curable 90% of the time.

Endocarditis