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Hi everyone, my name is Patricia, I'm from Brazil. My brother was born with a bicuspid valve. He is 43 years old and had aortic valve replacement. But he had fungal endocarditis. Aspergillus Flavus. We know it is a serious illness. This fungus does not appear in blood culture. He is in the ICU, has changed the valve again and is taking amphotericin for six weeks. My question is: Is there any specific examination that shows that the fungus is being eliminated? That we are "winning the war"? If anyone had a similar experience, thank you very much.
Sorry about my English.
AHAASAKatie, July 8, 2019 9:50am EST
Good morning, I am so sorry that your brother is in this condition. I do not have experience with Fungal Endocarditis, however, I did find this research study on the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health website. I am hoping one of the members is able to provide you with more information as well. Best Katie
AmbassadorMR, July 9, 2019 9:20am EST
Endocarditis as you know is an infection and inflammation of the inner lining of the heart. It can be caused by various bacteria (staph, strep, etc.) as well as a fungus like your brother has experienced. The more aggressive infections tend to be those that are caused by staph or fungal infections and they often do severe damage to the valves of the heart. This is likely the reason that your brother had to have a replacement valve inserted because artificial valves are especially prone to damage when they become infected.
Your brother will be treated as you describe with IV antibiotics for a number of weeks (usuallly 6-8 weeks) to help his body eliminate the fungal infection. His progress will be measured by culturing his blood periodically to see that the fungus is being removed from his system. Blood cultures generally take about 5 days to grow and provide a result. After the treatment course of antibiotics an echo cardiogram is usually done to see that the new valve is healthy and working properly.
I hope this information helps and reassures you that your brother is being effectively treated. I wish you and him the very best as you deal with this serious heart health issue. Please let us know how his recovery progresses and don't hesitate to reach out to us here on the support network.
Yours In Heart Health,
AmbassadorC, July 9, 2019 5:45pm EST
Hello Patricia and welcome to the support network. We are happy that you have found like minded heart patients such as myself, as we are each other’s strength, both patient and caregivers, for the journey ahead.
My fellow Ambassador M has given you great insight and I offer you my very best to stay encouraged for your brother. Please feel free to lean on us anytime, as we welcome you with heart.