Prof. Francisco Ramón Breijo-Márquez
University of Massachusetts at Boston, United States of America
Endocarditis is a disease that occurs as a result of the inflammation of the endocardium. It is an inflammatory process located in the inner lining of the cardiac chambers and native or prosthetic valves. It is characterized by colonization or invasion of the heart valve vegetations composed of platelets forming, fibrin and microcolonies of microorganisms, and occasionally of inflammatory cells. Other structures may also be affected, such as the interventricular septum, chordae tendineae, the mural endocardium or even intra-cardiac implants. The book covers, with scientific rigour, the most prevalent causes and current treatments of endocarditis, as well as the cases when the organs remote from the heart are affected by this disease.