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:
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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
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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.o... . 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 December 2013 by Michael J. Fucci, DO
Last Updated: 1/14/2014