What is endocarditis?
The heart walls inside are lined with a thin shell, which consists of a single layer of cells, which is located under the elastic connective tissue. Heart valves are formed from the folds of the inner lining (endocardium). Inflammation of the inner lining of the heart is called endocarditis. Endocarditis is divided into infectious (bacterial) and non-infectious, which is caused by rickettsia, mycoplasma, chlamydia and fungi. The inflammatory process can affect the heart valves and harmful to the heart, so endocarditis is a threat to human life.
Symptoms of endocarditis
Causes of endocarditis
Previously, the most common cause of endocarditis was rheumatism, occurring after streptococcal infection. Today, due to the creation of effective antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs the infection often can be suppressed even before hitting the inner lining of the heart. Currently endocarditis is caused by infection, its agents penetrate the blood in the lining of the heart and then multiply. These infections can occur when the general infectious disease of the body, after surgery or tooth extraction. Another cause of endocarditis - pus pockets of infection that are in the other systems of the human body, or a non-sterile injection needle. General weakening of the body's defenses, which are caused by malnutrition, disease contributes to endocarditis. Inflammation of the inner lining of the heart often begins after surgery on the heart valves.
Treatment of endocarditis
For the destruction of bacterial infections, primarily antibiotics are prescribed. A similar treatment is applied in case of heart failure. If the inflammation can not be overcome with the help of these measures, the patient is operated, problematic heart valve is replaced.
Symptoms of endocarditis may be similar to the symptoms of many other diseases: increased temperature, heart rate increases, there are fatigue, paleness, shortness of breath, decreased blood pressure. If you have any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention.
First of all, the doctor will do a blood test. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate - an indicator of the severity of inflammation. For more accurate diagnosis doctor will do X-ray, ultrasound, electrocardiography.
Course of the disease
The main causative agent - streptococcus. Infection affects the lining of the heart, and "open" collagen adds fibrin, platelets, accretion occurs. Factors that contribute to this process - rheumatic and congenital heart defects, mechanical damage. Endocarditis may be acute or subacute. Acute endocarditis is characterized by sudden and acute onset of the disease: fever above 39°C, impaired consciousness. Course of the subacute endocarditis is somewhat easier: raising the temperature to 38°C, loss of appetite, pain in the heart and joints. Dangerous complication of endocarditis - the formation of blood clots. They may come off to the brain or other organs and cause embolism, and as a result - insult. In addition, red painful nodules can be formed in the skin. Sometimes spontaneous bruising occurs.
Is endocarditis a dangerous disease?
If left untreated, damage to the heart valves increases, impaired heart function progresses; it will inevitably lead to death.
If after three days of flu or other infectious disease, you feel a general weakness and constant fatigue, it can mean the occurrence of endocarditis, so you should consult a doctor.
If you need surgery or tooth extraction, then the presence of permanent ill health and a weakened immune system you should notify the doctor. Doctor may prescribe antibiotics to prevent possible endocarditis.