Endocarditis refers to endothelial damage with thrombosis on endocardial surfaces, typically on the heart valves (see the image below). Two major types of endocarditis exist: infectious endocarditis, which has a microbial etiology, and noninfectious endocarditis. Several terms have been used for these conditions, including (subacute) bacterial endocarditis for infectious endocarditis, and nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis (NBTE) or marantic endocarditis for noninfectious endocarditis.
Endocarditis may develop slowly or suddenly ? depending on what's causing the infection and whether you have any underlying heart problems. Endocarditis signs and symptoms vary, but may include: Fever, chills, new or changed heart murmur, fatigue, aching joints, night sweats, shortness of breath, paleness, persistent cough, swelling in your feet, legs or abdomen, unexplained weight loss, blood in your urine, tenderness in your spleen, etc.
The first line of treatment for endocarditis is antibiotics. Treatment includes intake of antibiotics for two to six weeks to clear up the infection. The age-adjusted hospital admission rate has increased 2.4% annually from 1998-2009. From 1998-2009, the proportion of patients with intracardiac devices increased from 13.3% to 18.9%, while the proportion of cases with a background of HIV infection or HIV drug abuse fell. Currently, more than 50% of patients are older than 50 years. This increase in age has continued, with the mean age of patients in 2009 at 60.8 years.