Endocarditis is caused by bacteria in the bloodstream multiplying and spreading across the inner lining of your heart (endocardium). The endocardium becomes inflamed, causing damage to your heart valves. Your heart is usually well protected against infection so bacteria can pass harmlessly by.Who is most at risk for endocarditis?
Patients most at risk of developing bacterial endocarditis include those who have: Acquired valve disease (for example, rheumatic heart disease) including mitral valve prolapse with valve regurgitation (leaking) and/or thickened valve leaflets An artificial (prosthetic) heart valve, including bioprosthetic and homograft valvesWhat do antibiotics treat endocarditis?
Treatment with aqueous penicillin or ceftriaxone is effective for most infections caused by streptococci. A combination of penicillin or ampicillin with gentamicin is appropriate for endocarditis caused by enterococci that are not highly resistant to penicillin. Vancomycin should be substituted for penicillin when high-level resistance is present.