Early surgery ups outcomes in infective endocarditis

(HealthDay) -- For patients with infective endocarditis and large vegetations, early surgery reduces death from any cause and embolic events, compared with conventional treatment, according to a study published in the June ...

Jun 28, 2012
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High burden of endocarditis in older adults

(HealthDay)—The 2007 American Heart Association guidelines recommending a restriction of antibiotic prophylaxis have not increased the rates of hospitalization or adjusted mortality for endocarditis among Medicare beneficiaries, ...

Sep 15, 2013
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Bacterial toxins cause deadly heart disease

University of Iowa researchers have discovered what causes the lethal effects of staphylococcal infective endocarditis - a serious bacterial infection of heart valves that kills approximately 20,000 Americans each year.

Aug 20, 2013
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Endocarditis is an inflammation of the inner layer of the heart, the endocardium. It usually involves the heart valves (native or prosthetic valves). Other structures that may be involved include the interventricular septum, the chordae tendineae, the mural endocardium, or even on intracardiac devices. Endocarditis is characterized by a prototypic lesion, the vegetation, which is a mass of platelets, fibrin, microcolonies of microorganisms, and scant inflammatory cells. In the subacute form of infective endocarditis, the vegetation may also include a center of granulomatous tissue, which may fibrose or calcify.

There are multiple ways to classify endocarditis. The simplest classification is based on etiology: either infective or non-infective, depending on whether a microorganism is the source of the inflammation or not. Regardless, diagnosis of endocarditis is based on the clinical features, investigations such as echocardiogram, as well as any blood cultures demonstrating the presence of endocarditis-causing microorganisms.

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