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. Endocarditis generally occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart. Left untreated, endocarditis can damage or destroy your heart valves and can lead to life-threatening complications.
Endocarditis may develop slowly or suddenly depending on the cause of the infection and whether you have any underlying heart problems. Endocarditis signs and symptoms vary, but may include:
Diagnosis and Treatment
The health care provider may detect a new heart murmur, or a change in a past heart murmur. An eye exam may show bleeding in the retina and a central area of clearing. This finding is known as Roth's spots. There may be small, pinpoint areas of bleeding on the surface of the eye or the eyelids.
The age-adjusted hospital admission rate has increased 2.4% annually from 1998-2009. This rate has risen significantly from that of the previous 50 years i.e 2-4 cases per 100,000 persons per year. IE is 3 times as common in males as in females. It has no racial predilection.