health care  

Heart inflammation and infection

Bacterial (or infective) endocarditis is a rare condition in which one of the heart valves becomes infected. In most cases only valves that are already abnormal are affected, and those with congenital heart abnormalities can be at risk. Bacterial endocarditis is a serious disorder, which was fatal before the use of antibiotics became widespread. Now most cases recover well although surgery may be necessary if the valve damage is severe. Bacterial endocarditis is an infection of the inner surface of the heart or the heart valves caused by bacteria usually found in the mouth, intestinal tract or urinary tract.
Rheumatic heart disease
Rheumatic heart disease is a complication of rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever, which results from an untreated strep throat, can damage the heart valves, causing them to fail to close properly or not open enough. When a valve fails to close properly, it allows blood to leak backward. When a valve does not open enough, the heart must pump harder to force blood through the narrowed opening. When damage to the heart is permanent, the condition is called rheumatic heart disease. Rheumatic fever is an acute infectious disease that occurs primarily in children and young adults.
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the myocardium, the thick muscular layer making up the major portion of your heart. The condition can result in vague chest pain, an abnormal heartbeat, congestive heart failure and other signs and symptoms. The myocardium is the muscular wall of the heart, or the heart muscle. It contracts to pump blood out of the heart and then relaxes as the heart refills with returning blood. The myocardium's smooth outer membrane is called the epicardium. Its inner lining is called the endocardium.
Pericarditis is inflammation or infection of the pericardium, the thin sa that surrounds the heart. There is a small amount of fluid between the inner and outer layers of the pericardium. When the pericardium becomes inflamed, the amount of fluid between its two layers increases, compressing the heart and interfering with the heart's ability to function properly. Constrictive pericarditis is a disorder caused by inflammation of the pericardium with subsequent thickening, scarring, and contracture of the pericardium.

Topics in heart disease and cardiovascular disorders

Coronary circulation disorders
Myocardium disorders
Heart valve disorders
Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
Heart inflammation and infection
Congenital heart disease
Valvular disease (blood vessels disorders)
Procedures done for coronary artery disease
Devices used in cardiology
Diagnostic tests and procedures for heart diseases
Heart transplant

Featured articles on heart disease and cardiovascular disorders

Coronary artery disease
Heart attack (myocardial infarction)
Cardiac arrhythmia
Heart valve replacement
Congestive heart failure
Aortic aneurysm
Atrial fibrillation

All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005