Heart & Blood Condition

Expert reports about Heart & Blood Condition


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE ENDOCARDITIS DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is endocarditis during pregnancy?

The endocardium is the innermost of three layers of tissue that comprise the heart. Consisting of endocardial cells (similar to endothelial cells that line the inner walls of blood vessels), the endocardium lines the inside of the heart’s four chambers and also covers the heart’s valves. The term endocarditis refers to a severe, life-threatening situation in which there is inflammation occurring somewhere along the endocardial layer, which is to say on the inner lining of a heart chamber, or on a valve. Very often, endocarditis involves at least one valve, typically the mitral valve. Also called the bicuspid valve or the left atrioventricular valve, the mitral valve is the passageway between the heart’s left atrium and left ventricle. In more rare cases, endocarditis can occur on a different valve, such as the aortic valve, the valve that connects the left ventricle with the aorta, the large artery that carries blood from the heart to various arteries.


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