Endocarditis Treatment- Cardiology

Doctors: Cardiologist, Cardiac Surgeon

What is Endocarditis?

Endocarditis is an infection of the endocardium. Endocardium is the inner lining of the heart chambers and heart valves.

What are the treatment options?

Depending on the severity of endocarditis, either antibiotics or surgery are recommended.

  • Antibiotics:
    • Most patients with endocarditis can be treated with antibiotics.
    • Patient is required to be admitted to hospital to receive the antibiotics via an intravenous (IV) drip in the arm. Patient’s blood sample is taken to examine the effectiveness of the treatment. Depending on the results of the blood tests, either a single or a combination of antibiotics may be given. Antibiotics are given for several weeks in the hospital to clear up the infection.
    • Once patient’s fever and serious signs and symptoms have passed, patient would be able to leave the hospital and continue taking IV antibiotic either at home or at doctor's office. Patient would be asked to see doctor regularly.
    • Side effects such as diarrhoea, itching, rash, joint pain etc. may occur sue to allergic reaction to antibiotics. In this situation, patient should see the doctor immediately.
  • Surgery:
    • Surgery is recommended in following cases:
      • Patient has experienced heart failure in which the heart is not able to pump blood efficiently to rest of the body.
      • Patient has high fever in spite of receiving antibiotics or antifungals
      • Patient is suffering from aggressive fungi or drug-resistant bacteria
      • Patient has one or more blood clots despite of the treatment with antibiotics or antifungals
      • Patient’s echocardiogram indicates suggest a collection of pus (abscess) or an abnormal passageway (fistula) inside the heart
      • Sometimes surgery is essential to replace an impaired valve.  If valve replacement is essential, an artificial valve made of pig, cow or human heart tissue or mechanical valve might be used.

To learn more about Endocarditis Treatment, please check our blog on WHAT IS ENDOCARDITIS?.



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About the Author:

Dr. Anand Lakhkar is a physician scientist from India. He completed his basic medical education from India and his postgraduate training in pharmacology from the United States. He has a MS degree in pharmacology from New York Medical College, a MS degree in Cancer/Neuro Pharmacology from Georgetown University and a PhD in Pharmacology from New York Medical College where he was the recipient of the Graduate Faculty Council Award for academic and research excellence.  His research area of expertise is in pulmonary hypertension, traumatic brain injury and cardiovascular pharmacology.  He has multiple publications in international peer-reviewed journals and has presented his research at at prestigious conferences.