DefinitionThe endocardium is the inner lining of the heart muscle. Endocarditis is an infection of this lining and the heart valves.
CausesCauses of endocarditis include:
- Bacterial infection —the most common cause
- Viral or fungal infection
- Medical conditions that result in blood clotting too easily, causing a noninfectious form
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Risk FactorsFactors that may increase your risk of endocarditis include:
- Having an artificial heart valve
- History of endocarditis
- History of rheumatic fever , which can damage heart valves
- Heart defects
- Enlarged heart
- Mitral valve prolapse
- History of IV drug use
- Recent procedures that can lead to bacterial endocarditis , including:
SymptomsSymptoms of endocarditis include:
- Fever, chills
- Weakness, low energy
- Sweatiness, especially at night
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite, weight loss
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Painful red bumps on the fingers and toes
- Purple dots on the whites of the eyes, under the fingernails, and over the collarbone
- Painful red patches on the fingers, palms, and soles
DiagnosisThe 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 . Tests include:
- Blood tests
TreatmentTreatment may include:
- Antibiotics—given by IV for up to 4-8 weeks
- Surgery—to repair or replace the valve if it is severely damaged or has caused heart failure
PreventionIf you have a high risk of infection:
- You may need to take antibiotics before certain dental or medical procedures.
- Talk to your dentist or doctor before the procedure.
- Various forms of congenital heart defects
- Artificial heart valves
- History of endocarditis
- Heart transplant recipients who have developed valve disease
American Heart Association
Mouth Healthy—American Dental Association
Canadian Dental Association
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
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, et al. 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%5FUCM%5F307108%5FArticle.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: Wilson W, Taubert KA, et al. Prevention of infective endocarditis. Guidelines from the American Heart Association.Circulation. 2007;116(15):1736-1754.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 12/2014
- Update Date: 12/20/2014
Many medical groups felt that early exposure to certain foods like peanuts increased a child's risk of developing food allergies. However, newer research including this trial suggest that early exposure may actually decrease the risk of developing food allergies.
Breastfeeding May Decrease the Risk of Childhood Obesity
Tonsillectomy May Reduce Number of Sore Throat Days in Children
Research Review Finds Little Support for Nearly Half of Medical Talk Show Recommendations