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Postgrad Med. 1993 Apr;93(5):235-8, 241-4, 247.

Endocarditis. Changing trends in epidemiology, clinical and microbiologic spectrum.


Infective endocarditis refers to infection of the endocardium or heart valves by microbes, resulting in tissue destruction. Clinical presentation is quite variable, and a high level of suspicion is essential for recognition. Diagnosis is dependent on identification of the causative agent in blood cultures. Cultures that are persistently negative indicate the presence of culture-negative endocarditis, and diagnosis is one of exclusion. Treatment of endocarditis consists of high doses of antibiotics active against the infecting organism. Individualized therapy is the key to management.

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