Vegetations in heart valve infections
Infection of the heart valves is known as endocarditis. Vegetations in heart valve infections mean small excrescences attached to valves composed of bacteria, white blood cells and components of a blood clot. These are freely mobile and may break off from the valves to be carried by the blood stream and get lodged in other small blood vessels, blocking them. Such blockage can cause damage to the local tissue and cause stroke, infection with collection of pus and swelling of vessels known as aneurysms which are prone for rupture. Vegetations on valves can be identified by ultrasound imaging of the heart (echocardiography).