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What Are Antibiotic Prophylactic Regimens for Endocarditis?

Reviewed on 7/15/2020

What Are Antibiotic Prophylactic Regimens for Endocarditis?

Endocarditis, or a bacterial infection of the heart's inner lining, is a serious condition. People at risk for this infection receive prophylactic antibiotics before medical and dental procedures to stop a potential infection.
Endocarditis, or a bacterial infection of the heart's inner lining, is a serious condition. People at risk for this infection receive prophylactic antibiotics before medical and dental procedures to stop a potential infection.
Endocarditis is when the inner lining of the heart becomes inflamed or infected. Endocarditis can lead to heart failure, a condition in which the heart has difficulty pumping blood.

What Are Symptoms of Endocarditis?

Symptoms of endocarditis include:

What Causes Endocarditis?

Endocarditis is usually caused by bacteria. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream and affect the lining of the heart in a number of ways, such as:

In rare cases, fungal infections can cause endocarditis. 

People who have a pre-existing heart problem or past heart valve surgery are often more prone to developing endocarditis because heart valves may be damaged.

How Is Endocarditis Diagnosed?

Endocarditis is diagnosed with a history and physical exam, which will include the healthcare professional listening to the heart with a stethoscope to detect a heart murmur, which can be a sign of endocarditis. 

Other tests used to diagnose endocarditis include:

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What Is the Treatment for Endocarditis?

Endocarditis is usually treated in a hospital with intravenous antibiotics.

If antibiotics do not work, or the infection causes heart valve problems, surgery to replace the diseased heart valve may be indicated.

What Are Complications of Endocarditis?

Complications of endocarditis include: 

How Do You Prevent Endocarditis?

Antibiotic prophylactic regimens may be used to prevent endocarditis in at-risk patients before certain surgical or dental procedures. 

The American Heart Association Guidelines for Prevention of Infective Endocarditis are used in patients with underlying heart conditions associated with the highest risk of adverse outcome from infective endocarditis. 

High-risk cardiac conditions include: 

  • Prosthetic cardiac valve  
  • History of infective endocarditis 
  • Congenital heart disease 
  • Cardiac transplantation recipients with cardiac valvular disease

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Reviewed on 7/15/2020
References
Medscape Medical Reference

UpToDate.com

Nationl Institutes of Health

UK National Health Service
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