Endocarditis is inflammation of the inside lining of the heart chambers and heart valves (endocardium). It is caused by a bacterial or, rarely a fungal infection.
Valve infection; Staphylococcus aureus - endocarditis; Enterococcus - endocarditis; Streptococcus viridans - endocarditis; Candida - endocarditis
Endocarditis can involve the heart muscle, heart valves, or lining of the heart. Some people who develop endocarditis have a:
Endocarditis begins when germs enter the bloodstream and then travel to the heart.
Germs are most likely to enter the bloodstream during:
Symptoms of endocarditis may develop slowly or suddenly.
Fever, chills, and sweating are frequent symptoms. These sometimes can:
You may also have fatigue, weakness, and aches and pains in the muscles or joints.
Other signs can include:
You may need to be in hospital to get antibiotics through a vein (IV or intravenously). Blood cultures and tests will help your provider choose the best antibiotic.
You will then need long-term antibiotic therapy.
Surgery to replace the heart valve is often needed when:
Getting treatment for endocarditis right away improves the chances of a good outcome.
More serious problems that may develop include:
Call your provider if you notice the following symptoms during or after treatment:
The American Heart Association recommends preventive antibiotics for people at risk for infectious endocarditis, such as those with:
These people should receive antibiotics when they have:
Baddour LM, Freeman WK, Suri RM, Wilson WR. Cardiovascular infections. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 73.
Baddour LM, Wilson WR, Bayer AS, et al. Infective endocarditis in adults: diagnosis, antimicrobial therapy, and management of complications: a scientific statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2015;132(15):1435-1486. PMID: 26373316 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26373316.
Fowler VG, Bayer AS, Baddour LM. Infective endocarditis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 76.
Fowler VG, Scheld WM, Bayer AS. Endocarditis and intravascular infections. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 82.