The endocardium is the inner lining of the heart muscle. Endocarditis is an infection of this lining and the heart valves.
Causes of endocarditis include:
Factors that increase your risk of getting endocarditis include:
Symptoms of endocarditis include:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor will check your heart for unusual heart sounds. These are called heart murmurs.
Treatment may include:
If you have a high risk of infection:
The American Heart Association guidelines recommend that preventive antibiotic therapy should be considered for individuals with the following cardiac conditions:
Avoiding illegal IV drugs will also decrease your risk of infection.
American College of Cardiology
American Heart Association
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Braunwald E, Zipes DP, Libby P, et al. Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2001.
Cecil RL, Goldman L, Bennett JC. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2000.
Conn HF, Rakel RE, Bope ET. Conn's Current Therapy 2001: latest approved methods of treatment for the practicing physician. 53rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2001.
Infective endocarditis. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/TheImpactofCongenitalHeartDefects/Infective-Endocarditis_UCM_307108_Article.jsp. Updated March 20, 2013. Accessed March 20, 2013.
Infective endocarditis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 5, 2012. Accessed March 20, 2013.
DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Wilson W, Taubert KA, Gewitz M, et al. Prevention of infective endocarditis. Guidelines from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2007 Apr 19. [Epub ahead of print]
Last reviewed September 2012 by Michael J. Fucci, DO
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.