A man from Canada was left with a lump on his hand after a dental check-up. It was soon diagnosed with endocarditis – an infection of the heart's inner lining and valves, which can even lead to heart failure if left untreated.
According to The New England Journal of Medicine, the 27-year-old man was rushed to the hospital after he complained of abdominal pain in the left upper quadrant and a pulsatile, painful lesion on the right hand.
Causes and risk factors of Endocarditis
Endocarditis occurs if bacteria, fungi, or other germs enter the bloodstream and infect the heart. The infection can cause fatal complications, according to National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Though, the signs and symptoms of the infection differ from person to person, it generally has flu-like symptoms.
Certain factors may increase the risk of it, such as structural heart defect, certain dental procedures or poor oral health. It can also happen due to implanted medical device in the heart, such as a pacemaker wire, or an intravenous (IV) catheter (tube) in a blood vessel for a long time.
The painful lesion started as redness on the skin, and soon, it turned into a blue bulging lump. The man suffered from fever for six weeks, night sweats, and loss of appetite leading to a weight loss of almost 26 pounds (12kg).
After a number of tests, he was diagnosed with subacute bacterial endocarditis. In the journal, doctors claimed that his infection was "possibly related to poor oral hygiene and a recent dental procedure."
The man had to undergo aortic-valve replacement. Antibiotics cleared his night sweats and fever in just two days.