To describe characteristics of infective endocarditis (IE) in pacemaker (PM) recipients, including the annual incidence and exact localization of IE on PM leads, cardiac valves, or both, we prospectively analyzed 45 PM recipients from a group of 559 patients with definite IE who responded to a population-based survey conducted in France in 1999. Thirty-three patients had definite PM-lead IE (group I), and 12 had valvular IE without evidence of PM involvement (group II). The valvular structure was involved in almost two-thirds of IE cases among PM recipients. Of the 28 patients (62%) with valvular IE, 10 group I patients had tricuspid involvement, and 6 group I patients had left heart-valve involvement. The most frequent causative organisms in groups I and II were staphylococci (82%) and streptococci (50%), respectively. The incidence of age- and sex-standardized IE was 550 cases/million PM recipients per year. The incidence of IE with PM involvement is between that of valvular IE in the general population and prosthetic valve IE.