What is the microscopic appearance of acute bacterial endocarditis?

Updated: Jan 03, 2019
  • Author: John L Brusch, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

The microscopic appearance of acute bacterial endocarditis differs markedly from that of subacute disease. Vegetations that contain no fibroblasts develop rapidly, with no evidence of repair. Large amounts of both polymorphonuclear leukocytes and organisms are present in an ever-expanding area of necrosis. This process rapidly produces spontaneous rupture of the leaflets, of the papillary muscles, and of the chordae tendineae.

The complications of acute bacterial endocarditis result from intracardiac disease and metastatic infection produced by suppurative emboli. Because of their shortened course, immunological phenomena are not a part of acute IE.


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