Heart Devices, Infections and Treatments

Heart valve infections are one of the complications of implanted cardiac devices. Mayo Clinic's infectious disease experts are leaders in finding solutions to this problem, and their research has already changed medical practice and helped heart patients everywhere. Mayo Clinic's latest issue of Discovery's Edge features an article titled "Heart devices, infections and treatments." Below is an excerpt from the article:

When M. Rizwan Sohail, M.D., entered his fellowship in infectious disease at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., nearly a decade ago, an important trend was under way. The number of patients with newly implanted pacemakers, replacement valves and other heart devices was on the rise, and the technology was saving lives. But there was a down side, too, he quickly learned.

"We were seeing many cases of device infections," Dr. Sohail recalls. And because the devices were so new, no protocols existed to treat the infections.



Although rare, fungal endocarditis can cause heart valve infection. Glenn Roberts, Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic’s Division of Clinical Microbiology, now retired, discusses a case study in which fungal endocarditis caused occlusion of an implanted porcine heart valve in the Mayo Medical Laboratories Hot Topic, Laboratory Diagnosis of Fungal Infections. 


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