Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Endocarditis, an inflammation of the valves of the heart, causes symptoms that can be nonspecific and similar to those of many other conditions. For example, fever, malaise, weakness, and shortness of breath are common symptoms of endocarditis. Other symptoms that can occur with endocarditis are
- night sweats,
- joint and muscle aches, and
- swelling of the legs, abdomen, and feet due to fluid accumulation (edema).
Depending upon the cause of the endocarditis, other symptoms can occur. These include
- blood in the urine,
- pale skin, and
- painful red-purplish bumps under the skin of the fingers and toes known as Osler's nodes.
Tiny hemorrhages known as petechiae can appear in the whites of the eyes, on the skin, or inside the mouth.
Causes of middle ear infection
Endocarditis is usually caused by bacterial growth on one of the heart valves, leading to an infected mass called a "vegetation." People who have a damaged heart valve or congenital (inborn) abnormalities of the heart valves are at greatest risk for this process to occur. In some cases, the bacterial infection may be introduced during dental work, colonoscopy, and other similar procedures in which bacteria may briefly enter the bloodstream.
Brusch, John L. "Infective Endocarditis." Medscape.com. Oct. 24, 2016. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/216650-overview>.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Main Article on Endocarditis Symptoms and Signs
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