Infective endocarditis: Distressing heart disease By Dr.Deepti M
More and more people throughout the world are becoming the victims of heart diseases. This alarming increase of the heart diseases has many contributory factors. Infective endocarditis is yet another very common and important heart disease, which we need to know about. Endocarditis is the inflammation or swelling of the inner tissues of the heart. Infective endocarditis is the endocarditis, which is caused by the infectious microbes like bacteria.
Causes of infective endocarditis:
There are many types of bacteria which cause infective endocarditis. The most common bacteria causing this ailment are Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus viridans. The bacterial entry into the blood has many possible routes. Let’s talk about the most common causes of infective endocarditis.
There are not many people amongst us, who haven’t visited a dentist in our life. Due to the modern day dietary habits, dental problems like caries have become very common. Extraction of teeth is a very common dental procedure, which has been linked to infective endocarditis. The bacteria enter the blood through the extracted tooth cavity, and reach the heart.
UTI or urinary tract infections can also lead to this terrible heart disease, due to the entry of the bacteria into the blood.
IV drug injections:
Many drug injections need to be taken through the veins. People who take the drug injections regularly are more prone to develop infective endocarditis.
Infective endocarditis symptoms:
Fever can be caused by any type of bacterial or viral infection. As infective endocarditis is caused by the bacteria, it also produces fever in the affected people. Fever is associated with chills and rigors in many diseases. In infective endocarditis also, the people shiver a lot, due to chills and rigors.
These are the nodular structures, which are present at the tips of fingers. We can even palpate or feel these nodes in the finger tips.
These are the reddish color macules, which develop over the palms of the affected people. These are called macules, as they are not palpable.
Bleeding in the nails:
Infective endocarditis is associated with many bleeding complications in the body. One of such sequelae is the bleeding in the nails. These bleeds are splinter shaped. So, they are called splinter hemorrhages.
Clubbing of the nails:
In infective endocarditis, there is a growth of tissues at the base of the nails. So, the nail gets attached to tissues below the nail. The nail also becomes curved in shape. This is called clubbing of nails.
Spleen is an organ in the body concerned with the immune system of our body. Abscesses develop in this organ due to the bacteria causing infective endocarditis. Abscess is the collection of pus. Abscess in any part of the body is generally caused by the microbes like bacteria. Such kinds of abscesses can also form within the brain.
Infective endocarditis diagnosis:
- Infective endocarditis is mainly diagnosed with the help of blood culture. A blood culture can identify any type of microbe or bacteria present in the blood.
- Echocardiography or the scanning of the heart is also employed in its diagnosis. This helps in knowing the damage of the inner tissues of the heart.
- Urine examination is also helpful in the diagnosis of infective endocarditis sometimes, as blood might get leaked into the urine in this disease.
Infective endocarditis treatment:
As the main cause for the development of infective endocarditis is bacteria, the treatment is mainly aimed at controlling the bacterial infection. Intravenous administration of antibiotics is the main line of therapy. Antibiotics are the drugs, which kill the bacteria – By Dr.Deepti M