The epidemiology of infective endocarditis (IE) is changing for several reasons. The older patients are at a high risk of contracting IE due greatly to increased prevalence in patients with inbody cardiac devices. The microbiology of the disease has also changed from streptococcus to healthcare-associated staphylococcus. Recently, many studies have shown a trend towards increasing incidence of Staphylococcus aureus IE. IE in the elderly caused less severe symptoms than in the young. Non-specific generalized symptoms, myalgias, arthralgias, malaise, fatigue, loss of weight and sweats, are also common though rigours are much more common in acute IE. Embolism and immune-mediated phenomena are common in the elderly. The protean nature of IE requires a diagnostic strategy that will be sensitive for disease detection and specific for its exclusion across all forms of the disease. Successful outcome will depend on early diagnosis, effective treatment and timely recognition of complications. The mortality of prosthetic IE caused by Staphylococcus aureus treated medically is 75%, and in the case of medical plus surgical treatment, it is 25%.
KeywordsInfective endocarditis Cardiac devices Staphylococcus Streptococcus Embolism
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