Fungal Endocarditis: Pathophysiology, Epidemiology, Clinical Presentation, Diagnosis, and Management

Clin Microbiol Rev. 2023 Sep 21;36(3):e0001923. doi: 10.1128/cmr.00019-23. Epub 2023 Jul 13.


Fungal endocarditis accounts for 1% to 3% of all infective endocarditis cases, is associated with high morbidity and mortality (>70%), and presents numerous challenges during clinical care. Candida spp. are the most common causes of fungal endocarditis, implicated in over 50% of cases, followed by Aspergillus and Histoplasma spp. Important risk factors for fungal endocarditis include prosthetic valves, prior heart surgery, and injection drug use. The signs and symptoms of fungal endocarditis are nonspecific, and a high degree of clinical suspicion coupled with the judicious use of diagnostic tests is required for diagnosis. In addition to microbiological diagnostics (e.g., blood culture for Candida spp. or galactomannan testing and PCR for Aspergillus spp.), echocardiography remains critical for evaluation of potential infective endocarditis, although radionuclide imaging modalities such as 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography are increasingly being used. A multimodal treatment approach is necessary: surgery is usually required and should be accompanied by long-term systemic antifungal therapy, such as echinocandin therapy for Candida endocarditis or voriconazole therapy for Aspergillus endocarditis.

Keywords: cardiac; diagnosis; endocarditis; endocardium; fungal; mycologic; mycology; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aspergillus
  • Candida
  • Candidiasis* / diagnosis
  • Endocarditis* / diagnosis
  • Endocarditis* / epidemiology
  • Endocarditis* / therapy
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Mycoses* / drug therapy


  • Antifungal Agents