Pathophysiology: 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 can involve the heart muscle, heart valves, or lining of the heart. Some people who develop endocarditis have a: • Birth defect of the heart • Damaged or abnormal heart valve • History of endocarditis • New heart valve after surgery • Symptoms of endocarditis may develop slowly or suddenly. Fever, chills, and sweating are frequent symptoms. Between 1998 and 2009, the mean age of patients has risen from 58.6 to 60.8 years. Currently, more than 50% of patients are older than 50 years, Mendiratta et al, in their retrospective study of hospital discharges from 1993-2003 of patients aged 65 years and older with a primary or secondary diagnosis of IE, found that hospitalizations for IE increased 26%, from 3.19 per 10,000 elderly patients in 1993 to 3.95 per 10,000 in 2003.This increase in age has continued, with the mean age of patients in 2009 at 60.8 years.
Treatment: The first line of treatment for endocarditis is antibiotics. If the infection damages your heart valves, you may have symptoms and complications for years after treatment. Sometimes surgery is needed to treat persistent infections or to replace a damaged valve. Surgery is also sometimes needed to treat endocarditis that's caused by a fungal infection. Depending on your condition, your doctor may recommend either repairing your damaged valve or replacing it with an artificial valve made of animal tissue or man-made materials.