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Infective Endocarditis (IE)

An infectious process involving the endocardial layer of the heart.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

Infective Endocarditis (IE)

Endocarditis (EN-do-kar-DI-tis) is an infection of the inner lining of the heart chambers and valves. This lining is called the endocardium (en-do-KAR-de-um). The condition also is called infective endocarditis (IE).

The term "endocarditis" also is used to describe an inflammation of the endocardium due to other conditions. This article only discusses endocarditis related to infection.

IE occurs if bacteria, fungi, or other germs invade your bloodstream and attach to abnormal areas of your heart. The infection can damage your heart and cause serious and sometimes fatal complications.

IE can develop quickly or slowly; it depends on what type of germ is causing it and whether you have an underlying heart problem. When IE develops quickly, it's called acute infective endocarditis. When it develops slowly, it's called subacute infective endocarditis.

Overview

IE mainly affects people who have... Read more about Infective Endocarditis

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Prophylaxis Against Infective Endocarditis: Antimicrobial Prophylaxis Against Infective Endocarditis in Adults and Children Undergoing Interventional Procedures [Internet]

Infective endocarditis (IE) is a rare condition with significant morbidity and mortality. It may arise following bacteraemia in a patient with a predisposing cardiac lesion. In an attempt to prevent this disease, over the past 50 years, at-risk patients have been given antibiotic prophylaxis before dental and certain non-dental interventional procedures.

Antibiotics for the prevention of bacterial endocarditis (severe infection or inflammation of the lining of the heart chambers) in dentistry

This review, carried out by authors of the Cochrane Oral Health Group, has been produced to determine whether people at increased risk of bacterial endocarditis, a severe infection or inflammation of the lining of the heart chambers, should routinely take antibiotics before invasive dental procedures in order to reduce the incidence of endocarditis, the number of deaths, and the amount of serious illness this group of people experiences.

Oral antibiotic therapy for the treatment of infective endocarditis: a systematic review

BACKGROUND: The role of oral antibiotic therapy in treating infective endocarditis (IE) is not well established.

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Summaries for consumers

Antibiotics for the prevention of bacterial endocarditis (severe infection or inflammation of the lining of the heart chambers) in dentistry

This review, carried out by authors of the Cochrane Oral Health Group, has been produced to determine whether people at increased risk of bacterial endocarditis, a severe infection or inflammation of the lining of the heart chambers, should routinely take antibiotics before invasive dental procedures in order to reduce the incidence of endocarditis, the number of deaths, and the amount of serious illness this group of people experiences.

Injectable gold for treating rheumatoid arthritis

Although its use can be limited by the incidence of serious harms, injectable gold has an important clinically and statistically significant benefit in the short term treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

A single beta lactam antibiotic versus a beta lactam‐aminoglycoside combination for patients with severe infection

Infections caused by bacteria and requiring hospitalization are a leading cause of preventable death. The beta lactam antibiotics (e.g. penicillins, cephalosporins) and the aminoglycosides (e.g. gentamicin) kill bacteria by different means. Combining a beta lactam with an aminoglycoside could, therefore, result in more effective treatment of patients with severe infection but with the side effects of both antibiotics. We reviewed clinical trials that compared intravenous treatment with a beta lactam versus treatment with a beta lactam plus an aminoglycoside.

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Terms to know

Acute
Describes something that happens suddenly and for a short time. Opposite of chronic, or long lasting.
Congenital Heart Defects (Congenital Heart Diseases)
Congenital heart defects are problems with the heart's structure that are present at birth.
Endocardium
The endocardium is the innermost layer of tissue that lines the chambers of the heart.
Heart Valve Disease
Heart valve disease is a condition in which one or more of your heart valves don't work properly.
Heart Valves (Cardiac Valves)
Any of the four heart valves that regulate the flow of blood through the chambers of the heart.
Infection
The invasion and growth of germs in the body. The germs may be bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi, or other microorganisms.

More about Infective Endocarditis

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Other terms to know: See all 6
Acute, Congenital Heart Defects (Congenital Heart Diseases), Endocardium

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