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Infection of the Heart

June 21, 2019

Another cause is worth at least recognizing is an infection of the heart. Something called bacterial endocarditis. This can happen in all kinds of circumstances where someone has a blood infection. It can come from IV drug use, but it can happen also in other circumstances where there is no IV drug use. And when the heart gets infected, it often is sort of nebulous. The symptoms can be fatigue, night sweats, weight loss, fevers, and no one can figure out why. And it has to be evaluated with a specific type of echocardiogram called the transesophageal echocardiogram where they actually stick the tube in the throat to look at the heart from the esophagus where there’s no hard sternum in the way. And we can see the bacterial that the bacteria growth on the valve of the heart, which can break off and go up into the brain. And that’s a specific type of stroke that’s treated oddly enough, not with blood thinners, but with antibiotics.

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