Infectious endocarditis: diagnosis and treatment

Am Fam Physician. 2012 May 15;85(10):981-6.

Abstract

Infectious endocarditis results from bacterial or fungal infection of the endocardial surface of the heart and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Risk factors include the presence of a prosthetic heart valve, structural or congenital heart disease, intravenous drug use, and a recent history of invasive procedures. Endocarditis should be suspected in patients with unexplained fevers, night sweats, or signs of systemic illness. Diagnosis is made using the Duke criteria, which include clinical, laboratory, and echocardiographic findings. Antibiotic treatment of infectious endocarditis depends on whether the involved valve is native or prosthetic, as well as the causative microorganism and its antibiotic susceptibilities. Common blood culture isolates include Staphylococcus aureus, viridans Streptococcus, enterococci, and coagulase-negative staphylococci. Valvular structural and functional integrity may be adversely affected in infectious endocarditis, and surgical consultation is warranted in patients with aggressive or persistent infections, emboli, and valvular compromise or rupture. After completion of antibiotic therapy, patients should be educated about the importance of daily dental hygiene, regular visits to the dentist, and the need for antibiotic prophylaxis before certain procedures.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / diagnosis*
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / drug therapy*
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / prevention & control
  • Family Practice / methods*
  • Health Status
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Primary Health Care / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Staphylococcal Infections / diagnosis*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Streptococcal Infections / diagnosis*
  • Streptococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Streptococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • United States

Substances

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents