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Tag: Bacterial Endocarditis

What is Mitral Valve Prolapse?

By on July 15, 2012 in Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

What is mitral valve?

The heart has four chambers. The mitral valve controls the flow of blood between the 2 cavities, called the left atrium and left ventricle. Normally, when the heart relaxes between beats, the 2 flaps of the mitral valve open to allow blood flow to pass from the atrium to the ventricle. The fins are usually open only on one side and the blood only flows in one direction.

What is a mitral valve prolapse?

If you have mitral valve prolapse, the mitral valve flaps do not work properly. One of the flaps moves back into the atrium when the heart beats. When this happens, blood can flow in the opposite direction from the ventricle to the atrium.

About 1 in 20 Americans have mitral valve prolapse. Generally, people are born with it. More women have it than men.

What are the symptoms of mitral valve prolapse?

Most people are unaware they have mitral valve prolapse, until a doctor discovers it during a physical exam. It is possible that some people have symptoms that include the following:

  • Feeling that your heart is racing or skipping beats.
  • Chest pain that occurs from time to time.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Dizziness.
  • Anxiety or panic.

How is the mitral valve prolapse treated?

Most people with mitral valve prolapse do not need treatment. Only about 2 in 100 people with this condition have complications. Your doctor will tell you if you need treatment.

Some people with mitral valve prolapse have to limit participation in competitive sports. If the mitral valve prolapse causes chest pain or other symptoms, your doctor may prescribe medications such as beta blockers to improve symptoms. Some people need surgery to fix the valve.

In severe cases of mitral valve prolapse, infection can occur (called bacterial endocarditis) in the valve after surgery or dental procedures. If you have mitral valve prolapse, consult your doctor before undergoing dental procedures (including professional teeth cleaning) or other medical procedures. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics before the procedure to protect against infection.

What is Bacterial Endocarditis?

By on July 7, 2012 in Diseases with 0 Comments


What is bacterial endocarditis?

Bacterial endocarditis, or BE, is an infection of the valves and the lining of the heart (called endocardium). It occurs when bacteria from the skin, mouth, intestines or urinary tract enter the bloodstream (usually during a medical or dental procedure) and transmit the infection to the heart.

Who can get bacterial endocarditis?

Although BE can occur in anyone, people who have been diagnosed with a heart valve problem, an artificial valve or a heart defect are at increased risk. Having a heart murmur sometimes increases the chances of having BE. Usually, your doctor can determine whether or not a type of heart murmur that increases your risk of BE.

Do medical and dental procedures increase the risk of BE?

If you have a heart defect or a problem with a valve, the dental work (including professional teeth cleanings) and some medical procedures (such as colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy cisoscopia) may increase the risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream.

How I can find out if I have BE?

Fever, chills and other symptoms similar to influenza may be the only signs of BE. Other symptoms include weakness and weight loss of unknown origin. Your doctor may suspect that you have BE if you hear abnormal heart sounds with a stethoscope. Your doctor should perform more tests, such as blood tests and an echocardiogram (a test of the heart with ultrasound) to determine if you have BE.

How is the BE treated?

The BE is treated with antibiotics. Generally, antibiotics are beginning to be administered intravenously (by IV) in the hospital, but many people can complete their treatment at home. For more complicated infections, you may need heart surgery.