In this AudioBrick, we explore one of the valvular heart diseases from the Cardiovascular collection: infective endocarditis. Infective endocarditis is an infection of the endocardium, or the inner layer of the heart and valves. Infective endocarditis begins with some type of injury to the endocardium, most commonly the valvular surface. Such injuries may stem from turbulent blood flow (ie, from a congenital or acquired valvular defect), a catheter, or injection of foreign bodies in intravenous (IV) drug users. Injury to the endocardium causes fibrin and platelets to form a thrombus at the injury site. Infection occurs when bacteria are introduced into the thrombus through the blood.
After listening, you should be able to:
- Define infective endocarditis (IE), including acute and subacute forms
- List the most common valves affected in IE and describe the gross appearance of the valvular lesions
- List the typical causal organisms involved in IE in the following risk groups: patients with healthy valves, patients with native but abnormal valves, patients with prosthetic valves, and intravenous drug abusers
- Describe the sources for these organisms (ie, dental procedures)
- Compare and contrast the presenting symptoms and typical clinical course of acute and subacute bacterial endocarditis
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