Endocarditis

Valve infection; Staphylococcus aureus - endocarditis; Enterococcus - endocarditis; Streptococcus viridans - endocarditis; Candida - endocarditis

Endocarditis is inflammation of the inside lining of the heart chambers and heart valves (endocardium). It is caused by a bacterial or, rarely a fungal infection.

Infective endocarditis

Infectious endocarditis involves the heart valves and is most commonly found in people who have underlying heart disease. Sources of the infection may be transient bacteremia, which is common during dental, upper respiratory, urologic, and lower gastrointestinal diagnostic and surgical procedures. The infection can cause growths on the heart valves, the lining of the heart, or the lining of the blood vessels. These growths may be dislodged and send clots to the brain, lungs, kidneys, or spleen.

Heart - section through the middle

The interior of the heart is composed of valves, chambers, and associated vessels.

Heart - front view

The external structures of the heart include the ventricles, atria, arteries and veins. Arteries carry blood away from the heart while veins carry blood into the heart. The vessels colored blue indicate the transport of blood with relatively low content of oxygen and high content of carbon dioxide. The vessels colored red indicate the transport of blood with relatively high content of oxygen and low content of carbon dioxide.

Heart valve surgery - Series

There are four valves in the heart aortic valve, mitral valve, tricuspid valve, and pulmonary valve. The valves are designed to control the direction of blood flow through the heart. The opening and closing of the heart valves produce the heart-beat sounds.

Janeway lesion - close-up

Janeway lesions are seen in people with acute bacterial endocarditis. They appear as flat, painless, red to bluish-red spots on the palms and soles.

Janeway lesion on the finger

Janeway lesions appear as flat, painless, red or reddish-blue patches on the hands and soles of people with acute bacterial endocarditis.

Heart valves

The valves of the heart open and close to control the flow of blood entering or leaving the heart.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention