Infective endocarditis

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This is an ultrasound (I think) of an infective endocarditis (I think). The lumpy bit is a vegetation (I think).


Infection of the heart valves.


Rareimportant.jpg About 1 in 25,000 incidence rate.


Since the valves do not have their own blood supply, the immune system can't get white cells to the valves, making them susceptable to bacterial infection.

There are two main types:

Risk Factors

  • Prosthetic heart valve.
  • Recent dental work.
  • Injecting drugs - can lead to staph infection from skin.
  • Previous rheumatic fever - can cause damage to valves, making it easier for bacteria to stick on.

There are others, specially anything causing heart shape problems, weird murmurs or valve damage.

Clinical Features

The two things that should ring alarm bells are below. If you get them, move onto treatment:

  1. Fever, combined with
  2. New onset murmur.

Other things that can happen include



Generally benzylpenicillin/vancomycin + gentamicin. This depends on the microbiology.


Mortality rate of about 50%. NOT GOOD!