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Infective endocarditis is a condition that still carries a high morbidity and mortality rate despite modern antibiotics and surgical treatment. The infection, usually caused by bacteria, invades the innermost lining of the heart and can damage heart valves, connective tissue and the heart chambers themselves. Rapid diagnosis, effective treatment, and promptrecognition of complications are essential to good patient outcome. If untreated, mortality is extremely high. Symptoms can be as non-specific as fever, fatigue, weight loss, new rashes (either painful or painless), headaches, backaches, joint pains and confusion; hence the disease remains a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge.
This book presents the clinical manifestations – both cardiac and extracardiac, the diagnostic techniques currently used in clinical practice, the range of microorganisms that are responsible and the clinical scenarios that are often associated with initiating bacteremia. The guidelines are presented in detail, while the indications, timing and outcome of cardiac surgical intervention and prognosis are discussed extensively. Consequently this atlas will be of great value to cardiology specialists and trainees, emergency room physicians, intensivists and any frontline care provider to help them better understand the management of patients with infective endocarditis.