Objective: To provide guidelines for the treatment of endocarditis in adults caused by the following microorganisms: viridans streptococci and other streptococci, enterococci, staphylococci, and fastidious gram-negative bacilli of the HACEK group.
Participants: An ad hoc writing group appointed by the American Heart Association under the auspices of the Committee on Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis, and Kawasaki Disease, Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young.
Evidence: Published studies of the treatment of patients with endocarditis and the collective clinical experience of this group of experts.
Consensus process: The recommendations were formulated during meetings of the working group and were prepared by a writing committee after the group had agreed on the specific therapeutic regimens. The consensus statement was subsequently reviewed by standing committees of the American Heart Association and by a group of experts not affiliated with the working group.
Conclusions: Sufficient evidence has been published that recommendations regarding treatment of the most common microbiological causes of endocarditis (viridans streptococci, enterococci, Streptococcus bovis, staphylococci, and the HACEK organisms) are justified. There are insufficient published data to make a strong statement regarding the efficacy of specific therapeutic regimens for cases of endocarditis due to microorganisms that uncommonly cause endocarditis. As a useful aid to the practicing clinician, the writing group developed a consensus opinion regarding management of endocarditis caused by the most commonly encountered microorganisms and regarding those cases due to infrequent causes of endocarditis.