Endocarditis

Outcomes improve when you participate in your own care.

JoAnne M. Foody, MD, FACC, CardioSmart Editor-in-Chief
Learn more about Endocarditis

Did you know that the walls of your heart are made up of three layers?  The outer layer is called the epicardium, the middle layer is the myocardium, and the innermost layer is the endocardium.  Inflammation of this innermost layer and of your heart valves is called endocarditis. Endocarditis is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Bacteria enter your bloodstream from another part of your body and attach to damaged areas in your heart.  Because of this, you are more likely to develop endocarditis if you already have a damaged or artificial heart valve.

Some things that will increase your risk of developing endocarditis include: having had endocarditis in the past, previous surgery on your heart valves, recent dental surgery, or using intravenous drugs. Early symptoms of endocarditis may make you feel tired or feverish like you have the flu. Other symptoms include chills and sweating, feeling short of breath, and having pain in your joints. You may also notice red spots under your skin. It is important to report any symptoms to your doctor, as untreated endocarditis can lead to serious health problems like heart failure or stroke.

Treatment for endocarditis will usually include long-term antibiotic therapy. Use this condition center to learn more about endocarditis. You can keep up with the latest research, find questions to ask your doctor, and get tips to help you feel your best.

Endocarditis News & Events

Do Financial Conflicts of Interest Impact Study Results?

Feb 21, 2013
According to a recent study, funding sources and conflicts of interest have no impact on the outcome of medical studies and trials.

Calcium Supplements May Increase Cardiovascular Risk in Men

Feb 19, 2013
While more research is needed, new findings show how calcium supplements could affect heart health in men.

CardioSmart Partners with Hospitals for National Heart Health Screening Day

Feb 14, 2013
CardioSmart is collaborating with hospitals nationwide to offer free heart health screenings to local residents.

American College of Cardiology Spotlights Heart Health Through Fashion

Feb 05, 2013
Live stream the Red Dress Collection Fashion Show and participate in other events for this national heart health awareness movement.
Spirit of the Heart

Spirit of the Heart—Helping Improve Your Community's Heart Health

Jan 29, 2013

Spirit of the Heart events offer heart disease screening and events in underserved communities.

Resources to Help You Compare Treatment Options

Nov 07, 2012
Guidance from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in making health decisions

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