Infective Endocarditis

What is Infective Endocarditis?

Infective endocarditis (IE) is an infection of the inner lining of the heart, called the endocardium. It is caused by bacteria, fungi, or other microorganisms. It can lead to serious complications such as heart failure, stroke, and even death if left untreated.

The bacteria that cause IE can enter your bloodstream through a skin injury, dental procedures, or other forms of contact. If left untreated, IE can cause destruction of the heart valves, heart failure, stroke, and even death.

Symptoms of Infective Endocarditis

Infective endocarditis can cause a range of symptoms, including:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Night sweats
  • Cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Small red or purple spots on palms or soles

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

Treatment for Infective Endocarditis

Infective endocarditis is usually treated with a combination of antibiotics given through an IV drip. If the infection is severe, surgery may be required to repair or replace heart valves.

Avoiding activities that can lead to bacterial infection is also important. This includes brushing teeth and visiting the dentist regularly, and avoiding intravenous drug use.