Some of the major complications from endocarditis can include:
Endocarditis can cause other problems in the heart such as:
Heart failure.Heart failure is more likely to develop
or progress when endocarditis has significantly damaged a heart valve or the
Abscesses in the heart. An abscess,
which is a pocket of pus, may form around an infected heart
valve or in the tissues between the heart chambers.
Heart rhythm problems. Heart rhythm problems can occur if
the heart's electrical system has been damaged by the infection. This can cause
an abnormally fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat.
Blocked blood flow.
Endocarditis may produce blood clots (emboli) with infectious bacteria that can
break off (embolize) from where they originate and travel through the
bloodstream. When these emboli block the blood supply to various parts of the
body, serious conditions can develop, such as:
Heart attacks are caused by complete blockage of blood flow to a part of the
Stroke. A stroke can occur if the blood
clot blocks blood flow in the arteries that lead to the brain.
oxygen because of blood clots in the lung. These blood clots can occur if the
endocarditis is in the right side of the heart.
Infection in other organs.
Infected tissue may break off of a heart valve and travel to other parts of the
body. These other parts, such as lungs, brain, or kidneys, may become infected.
Brain abscess or
meningitis. A brain abscess or meningitis may cause
abscess. Pneumonia or a lung abscess may cause a lack
Bone infection (osteomyelitis).
A bone infection may cause deep bone pain and destruction of the bone.
Other organ complications.
Other organs may be affected if blood clots from endocarditis travel through
the body and block blood flow to an organ. Examples of organ complications
Acute renal failure. Acute renal
failure may occur from blood clots in the kidney or by damage to the filtering
system of the kidney.
organs such as the spleen, kidneys, or brain. Organ abscesses are rare
complications that can develop if a blood clot gets stuck in the organ or its
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
March 9, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 09, 2011
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