DR. E. WALKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR. E. WALKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bacterial endocarditis of the mitral valve (bottom centre), gross specimen. Bacterial endocarditis is the inflammation of the inner lining of the heart (endocardium) and most commonly affects the heart valves. It can be a primary infection, for example, the bacteria could be introduced during heart surgery, or a complication of another disease, such as colorectal cancer. Bacterial endocarditis very rarely occurs in a healthy heart. Symptoms include fever, a fast heart rate and weight loss. Treatment is with a long course of high-dose antibiotics.
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