Endocarditis

What is Endocarditis? 

Endocarditis is an infection of the hearts inner lining of heart chambers or heart valves.  

What are the causes of Endocarditis? 

There are many causes of endocarditis.  It is best to have your physician identify the exact cause.  It is possible the infection can be spread from bacteria, fungi or germs from another part of your body to your bloodstream and into your heart.  This can be life threatening if it damages your heart valves. Other causes of endocarditis include needles used for tattooing, intravenous illegal drug use or infection from another body area.

Symptoms of Endocarditis

  • chest pain when taking a breath
  • fatigue
  • fevers or chills
  • heart murmur sound
  • shortness of breath
  • swelling in ankles or feet

Diagnosing Endocarditis 

  • blood test
  • echocardiogram
  • cardiac CT
  • electrocardiogram or ECG

Treatment options of Endocarditis

  • Intravenous antibiotics are required for bacterial infections
  • Heart surgery may be required for infection that has destroyed the heart valve structure and function

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