Endocarditis is a serious condition of heart characterized by the inflammation of endocardium i-e inner lining of heart’s chamber and valves.This can be the result of bacterial or fungal infection. This is a life-threatening condition.
Endocarditis has rapid onset. This condition is presented as follows:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Chest pain on exertion
- Fever and chills
- Weakness and fatigue
- Sweating at night
- Problematic breathing
- Abdomen, feet and legs become swollen
- Unintentional weight loss
- Janeway lesions
- Tender spleen
Endocarditis result from the infection of bacteria or fungus that gain entry into the bloodstream and attack heart by attaching to abnormal heart valves or damaged heart tissues. These infectious agents gain entry into the body through; improper dental care, catheters, contaminated needles and syringes.
Complications include the following:
- Heart murmur
- Heart failure
- Abscess in heart, brain, lungs and other organs
- Damage to the kidneys
Diagnosis of this condition depends upon detailed medical history and complete general physical examination of the patient. Other tests include the following:
- Blood culture test
- Complete blood count
- Echocardiogram which can be transthoracic echocardiogram or transesophageal echocardiogram .
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG).
- Other imaging tests like CT scan and MRI
Treatment options include:
- Medications usually prescribed are; high doses of IV antibiotics or antifungal medication.
- Surgery like heart valve surgery or prosthetic mechanical valve is sometimes needed to treat endocarditis.