???What is endocarditis? Endocarditis is an infection of the endocardial layer of the heart, and it usually involves the heart valves. Common causes are the relatively low-virulent Viridans streptococci and the high-virulent Staphylococcus aureus.
???What are the signs and symptoms of endocarditis? The common signs and symptoms can be remembered with the mnemonic ?FROM JANE?. Fevers, Roth spots - which are deposits in the eyes, Osler nodes - painful lesions in the hands, Murmur, Janeway lesions - painless lesions in the hands, Anemia, Nail-bed hemorrhages, and Emboli from vegetations that detach from the valve.
???How do you diagnose endocarditis? Endocarditis can be diagnosed using Duke?s criteria. Major criteria can be met with positive blood cultures or serology for known pathogens, or echocardiogram changes consistent with endocarditis. Minor criteria are a predisposing heart condition or intravenous drug use, a fever, vascular or immunologic phenomena, or blood culture or echocardiogram changes that don?t meet major criteria.
???How do you treat endocarditis? Endocarditis can be treated with a prolonged course of antibiotics. Sometimes surgery is needed to treat persistent infections or to replace a damaged valve.
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