What is it?

-Acute endocarditis, also known as infective endocarditis, is a life threatening condition. During endocarditis, the heart’s chambers and valves inner lining is inflamed. Subacute bacterial endocarditis (SBE) is a slowly developing type of infective endocarditis. It can cause serious damage to the heart tissue as well as complications that affect the entire body. Endocarditis is typically caused by bacterial infection- the acute type is usually caused by Staphylococcus aureus whilst the subacute form is usually caused by penicillin-sensitive Streptococcus viridans.. Enterococci are versatile and may produce either acute or subacute endocarditis. The pneumococcus nearly always produces an acute infection. People with artificial or damaged heart valves, heart devices, or other heart defects are at greater risk for endocarditis. The bacteria and fungi may enter the bloodstream from improper dental care, catheters and intravenous drug use. Endocarditis complications may include stroke, pulmonary embolism, abcesses in different organs, and kidney damage.

-Valves are located between the atria and the ventricles, and between the ventricles and the main arteries, and they ensure that blood flows in one direction. The mitral valve is the one located between the left atria and the left ventricle. The aortic valve is the one located between the left ventricle and the aorta. The pulmonary valve is located between the right ventricle and the pulmonary arterteries. The tricuspid valve is located between the right atrium and right ventricle.
Diseases of the valve include stenosis, regurgitation, or both.
Stenosis is a narrowing or stiffening of the valve, causing a disruption to the blood flow. Regurgitation happens when the valve doesn't close properly, causing back-flow of blood and fluid retention in your body.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Nonrheumatic Tricuspid Valve Disorders
- Nonrheumatic tricuspid valve disease
- Tricuspid incompetence non-rheumatic
- Pulmonary Valve Disorders
- Nonrheumatic pulmonary valve disease
- Pulmonary incompetence non-rheumatic

Signs & symptoms

-Endocarditis, acute or subacute, symptoms may vary and are not very specific. These symptoms may include aching joints and muscles, chest pain, fatigue,flu-like symptoms, night sweats, shortness of breath, leg/feet/abdomen swelling, a new heart murmur, unexplained weight loss, spleen tenderness, red spots on the soles of the feet or palms of the hands, petechiae on the skin, inside the mouth or in the whites of the eyes.

-Symptoms vary depending on the type and severity of the disorder. Many individuals with mild or moderate valve disorders don’t experience any symptoms. However, in more severe cases, signs and symptoms may include:
* shortness of breath
* heart palpitations
* fatigue
* chest pain
* dizziness and fainting
* cough


-Endocarditis diagnosis is based upon medical history and physical examination, including listening with a stethoscope to the heart. Further tests may include blood culture test, complete blood count or leukocytosis or anemia and an echocardiogram for cardiac function. An ECG can show the electrical heart activity, and it is not specific.

-your doctor will begin by listening to your heart with a stethoscope. They’ll listen for any heart rate abnormalities or abnormal sounds that might indicate a problem with your valve. Your doctor may also listen to your lungs to determine if there’s fluid buildup and check your body for signs of water retention. Your doctor may also order an echocardiogram - This is an ultrasound of the heart that tells your doctor about the size and shape of your heart, the pumping action of your heart and the function of the valves.
Other tests that may be used to diagnose or evaluate heart valve disorders include the following:
ECG, chest X-ray, stress test, MRI scan and Cardiac catheterization.


-Endocarditis treatment includes high doses of antibiotics, first intravenously and then oraly. Valve replacement should be considered in selected patients with infectious endocarditis. People who are at greater risk for endocarditis it is recommended taking antibiotics before having any dental work done.

-Treatments for heart valve disorders depend on the severity of the disorder and symptoms. Treatment options include:
* lifestyle changes
* Medications that control blood pressure, heart rate and blood flow such as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors and CCB, as well as diuretics to get rid of excess fluid.
* Surgical repair or replacement of the valve, via catheterization or an open surgery.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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