Osler's nodes and the recognition of infective endocarditis: a lesion of diagnostic importance

South Med J. 1987 Jun;80(6):753-7. doi: 10.1097/00007611-198706000-00020.


Osler's nodes are classic lesions strongly associated with infective endocarditis. Osler's original description placed them as a frequent finding (70%) in cases of endocarditis. Recent literature, however, has infrequently described these lesions, which in general are no longer found to be useful. We review the clinical syndromes of infective endocarditis and their association with these lesions. We also review the pathogenesis of the lesion that currently supports the embolic nature of Osler's nodes. Osler's nodes are helpful clues if they appear in patients with infective endocarditis, and biopsy and culture of the lesion may provide an etiologic diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endocarditis, Subacute Bacterial / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Skin Diseases / etiology*