Are you experiencing chest pain, fatigue or general malaise? Did your doctor suggest that you might have endocarditis and needs to run an electrocardiogram (ECG)? Don’t panic! We are here to help. In this article, we will break down the Endocarditis ECG findings into simple terms and explain what they mean.
What is endocarditis?
Endocarditis refers to a condition where the inner lining of your heart’s chambers becomes inflamed. This inflammation occurs due to bacterial or fungal infections in your bloodstream. The bacteria/fungi can attach themselves onto damaged areas of your heart valve (s) and form clumps called vegetation, which can then release emboli particles when dislodged from their position. These particles may clog up blood vessels in various parts of your body such as lungs or brain leading to complications if not treated promptly.
How is Endocarditis diagnosed?
Diagnosing endocarditis requires analysing medical history, physical examination and blood tests for microbial growth/ antibodies raised against specific pathogens along with echocardiographic imaging modalities such as transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) / transoesophageal echocardiography(TEE) . TEE is preferred over TTE due its sensitivity in detecting smaller vegetations located on the mitral / tricuspid valves`.
In addition, a routine electrocardiogram test is usually done by doctors to check for any abnormalities related to rhythm changes when diagnosing possible causes of cardiac-related conditions like osteomyelitis.
The following table shows some common causative organisms implicated in infective endocarditis categorized based on patient age :
What is ECG?
An electrocardiogram, commonly known as an ECG, is a non-invasive test that records electrical activity generated by the heart muscle. It involves connecting wires from electrodes placed on your arms, legs and chest to a machine that constructs waveforms during systole / diastole.
The images formed on the ECG can provide important information about heart rate and rhythm among other things such as QRS complex morphology, T wave inversion/flipping depending on ventricular depolarization repolarisation cycle progression/ abnormalities in ion channels .
How Endocarditis affects ECG findings?
Endocarditis affects the conductivity of the heart’s electrical system leading to various manifestations detectable through an ECG. We will now discuss some common endocarditis related findings found in different leads:
Prolonged PR interval
One common finding in endocarditis patients is prolonged PR (P-R) intervals which indicate difficulties conducting electrical impulses from atria to ventricles leading to slower conduction velocity called A-V block. This occurs when bacteria/Fungi have disrupted cellular structures or created biofilms interfering with normal cardiac function.
ST segment deviation
Another indication of endocarditis includes abnormalities across horizontal lines traced between QRS looking into T waves , referred as ST segments changes . The directionality dependant upon anatomical location it represents suggests diffuse sub-endocardial myocardial ischemia secondary septic emboli occlusions within coronary vessels due thrombosis formation set off by bacterial tissues` invasion.
Mitral regurgitation refers to blood backflowing into left atrium caused by impaired valve closure during pulmonary circulation phase i.e S2 succeeding S1 mitral valve closure sound. Such backflow can be detected through detection via two axes- apex directed towards left side (-Y deflection) and inferior directed towards foot side axis. ECG can show an enlarged P-wave amplitude suggesting atrial overload caused by increased blood volume load, which may produce ischemic changes leading to patchy ST-T wave inversion.
In conclusion, Endocarditis ECG findings include a range of abnormalities such as prolonged PR intervals, ST segment deviation and Mitral regurgitation-related P wave amplitude changes. These signs should only be considered in conjunction with the clinical presentation rather than solely relying on ECG alone for diagnostic accuracy. Remember that endocarditis is a serious condition requiring prompt medical attention and monitoring even after initial therapy. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above or have concerns regarding your heart health, do not hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider who can diagnose appropriately .
Hey there, I’m Dane Raynor, and I’m all about sharing fascinating knowledge, news, and hot topics. I’m passionate about learning and have a knack for simplifying complex ideas. Let’s explore together!
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