Endocarditis refers to an infection or inflammation within the inner lining of the heart chambers, or the endocardium. Infective endocarditis (IE) often develops after a bacterial or fungal infection. The most important fact to know about IE is that it can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. At Corrielus Cardiology, we are well-qualified to treat your endocarditis. We also value the importance of educating the Philadelphia community about the numerous symptoms that can occur with IE and how to detect and even prevent this serious heart condition.
While endocarditis can occur for unknown reasons, it is most commonly associated with a prior bacterial infection. It can develop in patients who have existing heart valve disease or congenital heart disease. It is not uncommon to present with IE symptoms after a dental surgery or following an infection from a body piercing or tattooing.
Patients may experience a sudden or gradual onset of symptoms. IE symptoms can take on many forms, but they often resemble the flu, including muscle aches, joint pain, fever, poor appetite, weight loss and fatigue. A rapid development of swelling, shortness of breath and skin color changes needs to be checked promptly.
If you are concerned that you may have infective endocarditis, contact Corrielus Cardiology today and seek treatment with us immediately. Dr. Corrielus will evaluate your physical condition, your medical history and your risk factors. We will also run appropriate cardiac testing methods to check your heart structure and function. As mentioned above, early diagnosis and treatment is key to a successful outcome. Endocarditis that is neglected or avoided can result in blood clots, stroke, congestive heart failure and other life-threatening conditions. IE may require a long course of antibiotics with hospitalization if progressed.