Bacterial Endocarditis

Background:

Bacterial endocarditis is an inflammation of the inner lining of the heart (endocardium) and particularly the heart valves, due to infection. Infection may also occur at the site of a septal defect (birth defect in which there is a hole between the left and right sides of the heart), on the chordae tendineae (small tendons attached to the heart valves), or in the endocardium itself. Endocarditis may occur alone or as a complication of another disease. The infection can be caused by any number of microorganisms. It is classified as acute or subacute. The incidence of bacterial endocarditis increases with age. Men have a higher incidence than females.

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