Bacterial Endocarditis

(Infective Endocarditis)

Definition

The endocardium is a thin layer of membrane (tissue) that covers the inner surface of the heart. Bacterial endocarditis is an infection of this membrane. Infection occurs when bacteria attach to the membrane and grow. The infection is most common when the heart or valves have already been damaged. It can permanently damage the heart valves. This can lead to serious health problems, such as heart failure . Bacterial endocarditis can be life-threatening.
Bacterial Endocarditis
Nuclus factsheet image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
The infection can also cause growths on the valves or other areas of the heart. Pieces of these growths can break off and travel to other parts of the body. This can cause serious complications.

Causes

Bacterial endocarditis is caused by specific bacteria. Bacteria can travel to the heart through the blood. It can enter the blood from an infection somewhere else in the body. It can also enter during an activity that causes breaks in the skin or tissues. This activity can be dental work, surgery, or IV drug use.The bacteria may be able to attach to the endocardium. Some heart conditions can increase the chance of infections. These conditions may cause blood flow to be blocked or to pool. This provides a place for the bacteria to build up.

Risk Factors

The following conditions put you at greater risk during certain procedures:The conditions listed above increase your risk of the infection with certain activities such as:
  • IV drug use—risk is very high when needles are shared
  • Any dental procedure, even cleanings
  • Removal of tonsils or adenoids , and other procedures involving the ears, nose, and throat
  • Viewing the airways though a thin, lighted tube— bronchoscopy
  • Surgery on the gastrointestinal or urinary tracks, including the gallbladder and prostate

leave comments
0
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals


Chewing Gum After Surgery May Improve Digestive Tract Recovery
April 2015

A systematic review found that participants given chewing gum after abdominal surgery may have a faster return to normal for their digestive system. Unfortunately, the quality of trials is low and more research will need to be done before this simple solution is confirmed.

dot separator
previous editions

Early Peanut Consumption Associated with Lower Risk of Peanut Allergy in High Risk Children
March 2015

Breastfeeding May Decrease the Risk of Childhood Obesity
February 2015

Tonsillectomy May Reduce Number of Sore Throat Days in Children
February 2015

dashed separator

Advertisement

Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »

 

Advertisement

Advertisement

DiggDeliciousNewsvineRedditStumbleTechnoratiFacebook