WebMD
Font Size
A
A
A

Endocarditis

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 dangerous. They 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 kidney failure.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical Reviewer Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
Last Revised February 27, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 27, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.