Endocarditis is an infection of the heart's valves or its inner lining (endocardium). This infection is caused by
bacteria or, in rare cases, fungi.
For people who have certain heart conditions, such as damaged or artificial heart valves, getting endocarditis is even more
may need to take antibiotics before certain dental and surgical procedures. The
antibiotics lower the risk of getting endocarditis.
Endocarditis is usually treated with long-term antibiotics. Or, in serious
cases, it is treated with surgery to replace damaged heart valves. If not treated,
endocarditis can cause stroke, infection in other organs, heart failure, or
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology