Infective endocarditis, also called bacterial endocarditis, is an infection caused by bacteria that enter the bloodstream and settle in the heart lining, a heart valve or a blood vessel. IE is uncommon, but people with some heart conditions have a greater risk of developing it. When suspicious for IE, TTE is sensitive for detecting vegetations and identifying the affected valves. Overall the sensitivity is 60–70%, whereas it can detect tricuspid vegetations with higher sensitivity (80%) (15). It should be obtained when the TTE study is negative and clinical suspicion is high, in all prosthetic valve IE, and in patients with invasive infections and complications.

  • The cardiac CT also disclosed a fistulous tract communicating from the infected MV annulus to the aneurysmal portion of the LV.
  • Injecting the drugs and the lifestyle that may accompany drug use can increase the risk of infection.
  • The use of multiple drugs and increased cocaine consumption have made the description of drug-use patterns quite difficult (Fishburne et al., 1980; Johnston et al., 1981; Bray et al., 1982; B. D. Johnson and Goldstein, 1984).
  • Without advances in prosthetic valve longevity, many of these young valvular surgery patients who remain free of reinfection are likely to require additional valve replacements.
  • The patient, however, did not improve and 2 weeks after admission, had a cardiac arrest and died.

The problem of HIV infection among IV drug users and its transmission to their sexual partners and offspring requires both immediate action and long-term research. Immediate action is necessary because of the potential for the rapid spread of HIV among IV drug users within short periods. Although the current state of knowledge does not permit permanent or long-term solutions to drug-use problems and HIV infection in this population, enough is known now, on the basis of existing research and sound management techniques, to slow the spread of disease. In June 1988, the report issued by the IOM/NAS AIDS committee concluded that federal efforts to reduce HIV transmission among IV drug users were grossly inadequate.

Preventive antibiotics

Beyond the risk of reinfection, structural degeneration of prosthetic valves over time is a common indication for further valve surgery (40). The 15-year reoperation risk due to prosthetic valve degeneration (regardless of indication) for a 40 year-old person is 30% and, for a 20 year-old, the risk is 50% (41). Among persons who underwent surgery for DUA-IE, we found that 186 (65%) were under 40. Without advances in prosthetic valve longevity, many of these young valvular surgery patients who remain free of reinfection are likely to require additional valve replacements.

Drug users do not necessarily cooperate as research subjects by restricting their behavior to forms that can be studied using simple questionnaires. For example, single-substance drug use lends itself relatively easily to research design; the polydrug use that a significant portion of IV drug users actually report is much more difficult to measure (B. D. Johnson et al., 1985). To investigate these topics properly, old methodologies must be improved and new ones devised.


Hepatitis doesn’t cause sepsis, but the virus can cause damage to your liver, which puts you at higher risk for infections. Understanding your risk and knowing when something isn’t right can help you and your doctor manage valve issues. It depends on the type of germs causing the infection and whether there are other heart problems. Endocarditis is a life-threatening inflammation of the inner lining of the heart’s chambers and valves.

If you have an open wound from an IV injection or IV drug use, bacteria may enter and cause tetanus to develop. Severe tetanus can result in opisthotonos, or arching of the back caused by general muscle spasms. Those with HIV may not develop symptoms immediately or assume they may just have a cold or flu.

International Patients

The committee recommends that high priority be given to studies of IV drug users who are not in contact with health care, drug-use treatment, or criminal justice systems. Studies of this subpopulation of IV drug users are particularly important because this group includes those drug users who are the most active, the most criminally involved, the most involved in the drug-dealing network, and the most vulnerable to a broad spectrum of health problems. In large cities, ”shooting galleries” have flourished as communal injection sites, often in apartments or abandoned buildings. The operators of the shooting galleries charge a small fee for use of the site, injection water, and rental of injection equipment. Often, the equipment has been used by other addicts and inadequately sterilized or cleaned to remove contaminating blood and infectious pathogens, including HIV (Des Jarlais et al., 1986a). Choice of antibiotic therapy is dependent on the organism isolated from blood or sputum and may need to be given for a prolonged period – 4 weeks or more depending on clinical progress.

Indeed, some studies have shown that essentially all IV drug users report needle-sharing during some period of their drug-use careers (Black et al., 1986). People are not born injectors; they learn this behavior in the presence of others who have already been initiated (Powell, 1973; Harding and Zinberg, 1977). As discussed below, a lack of equipment and injection skills, together with certain social and physiological factors that surround IV drug use, affect the likelihood of needle-sharing. In our study, the proportion of IE hospitalizations resulting in surgery was low (7%) and noticeably below estimates of IE surgery published for other populations (31–57%) (53,54).

From a public health perspective, it is unacceptable that persons who want to stop injecting drugs cannot receive immediate treatment. Furthermore, there is consensus among people who work in the area of drug use that treatment can produce a dramatic reduction in drug injection, even though relapse after treatment is a continuing problem (Des Jarlais, 1987a; Hubbard et al., 1988). The second generalization that can be made is that there is wide variation in the percentage of drug users that reported AIDS risk reduction in the different studies. Percentages ranged from 85 percent in two studies in New York (Ball et al., 1988; Battjes and Pickens, 1988; Yancovitz et al., 1988) to what researchers termed ”poor” in Madrid, Spain (de la Loma et al., 1988).

The data that serve these purposes are not necessarily adequate or appropriate for infectious disease containment efforts. As detailed in Chapter 4, achieving and sustaining behavioral change is frequently iv drug use difficult. For example, IV drug users may reduce the number of persons with whom they share injection equipment, but they may continue to share with a close personal friend or sexual partner.


Accordingly, we were unable to validate IE or drug use diagnoses with other clinical indicators or assess surgical indications. Second, increasing awareness of both HCV and opioid misuse may have enhanced their documentation during the later study years. Third, our use of HCV infection as an indicator of drug use could have artificially increased the number of DUA-IE cases detected, as its inclusion alone accounted for 18% of cases. However, even excluding that population, the increase in DUA-IE hospitalizations remains striking. Fourth, although we were concerned that the 2015 switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 would have introduced error into our trend estimates, the relatively steady number of surgeries for non-DUA-IE over the study period suggests that this issue was likely negligible for hospitalizations with surgery. Fifth, certain hospitals are not included in our database, such as Veterans Affairs and military hospitals, leading to an underestimate of the prevalence of IE in NC.

heart infection from iv drug use