DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart (endocardium).
Endocarditis generally occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart. Left untreated, endocarditis can damage or destroy your heart valves and can lead to life-threatening complications. Treatments for endocarditis include antibiotics and, in certain cases, surgery.
Endocarditis is uncommon in people with healthy hearts. People at greatest risk of endocarditis have damaged heart valves, artificial heart valves or other heart defects.
June 14, 2014
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