Overview

Endocarditis is an infection of the endocardium, which is the inner lining of your heart chambers and heart valves.

Endocarditis generally occurs when bacteria, fungi 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. If it's not treated quickly, 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.

Since there are many ways to develop endocarditis, your doctor might not be able to pinpoint the exact cause of your condition. However, people at greatest risk of endocarditis usually have damaged heart valves, artificial heart valves or other heart defects.

July 15, 2017
References
  1. Endocarditis. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/endo/. Accessed March 3, 2017.
  2. Karchmer A. Infective endocarditis. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?sectionid=79733720&bookid=1130&... Accessed Feb. 24, 2017.
  3. Sexton DJ, et al. Epidemiology, risk factors, and microbiology of infective endocarditis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 24, 2017.
  4. Sexton DJ, et al. Clinical manifestations and evaluation of adults with suspected native valve endocarditis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 24, 2017.
  5. Spelman D, et al. Complications and outcomes of infective endocarditis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 3, 2017.
  6. Sexton DJ, et al. Antimicrobial therapy of native valve endocarditis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 3, 2017.
  7. What is infective endocarditis? American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/HeartValveProblemsandDisease/Heart-Valves-and-Infective-Endocarditis_UCM_450448_Article.jsp#.WOUJ42czXIV. Accessed March 14, 2017.

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