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Infective endocarditis

Infective endocarditis

Overview

Infectious endocarditis involves the heart valves and is most commonly found in people who have underlying heart disease. Sources of the infection may be transient bacteremia, which is common during dental, upper respiratory, urologic, and lower gastrointestinal diagnostic and surgical procedures. The infection can cause growths on the heart valves, the lining of the heart, or the lining of the blood vessels. These growths may be dislodged and send clots to the brain, lungs, kidneys, or spleen.

Review Date 5/8/2022

Updated by: Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.