Infective endocarditis is an infection in the inner lining of your heart chambers and valves – the endocardium.

The infection develops when bacteria, fungi and germs normally found in your mouth, intestines, respiratory system and other parts of your body invade your bloodstream and get carried to your endocardium.

If not treated, the germs from infective endocarditis can multiply and form clumps. Bits of these clumps can break off and travel to other parts of your body. They can damage your central nervous system, your kidneys, your spleen, your brain or your lungs, in addition to your heart. That’s why it’s important to doctor with your doctor if you have symptoms.


Infective endocarditis can result in an infection that gives you flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, fever, chills, headache and aching muscles and joints. 

Other signs of infective endocarditis include:

  • A new heart murmur or a change in an existing heart murmur
  • A wound that won’t heal
  • Blood in your urine
  • Night sweats
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sinus drainage and nasal congestion
  • Skin changes (paleness or small painful bumps or spots from broken blood vessels)
  • Sore throat or pain when you swallow
  • Swelling in your feet, legs or abdomen
  • Tenderness in your upper cheekbones
  • White patches in your mouth or on your tongue


To determine if you have infective endocarditis, your doctor will ask you about any symptoms and perform a physical exam. He or she may also order lab and diagnostic tests, such as an electrocardiograph (EKG)
 or an ultrasound test called transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) or transesophageal echo (TEE).

Treatment Options

If you’re diagnosed with infective endocarditis, your doctor will most likely give you intravenous antibiotics for several weeks. You may spend some time in the hospital, to make sure the antibiotics are working and then continue your treatment at home.

If your case is severe, you may need surgery to repair or replace a damaged heart valve or to destroy fungi.

Your doctor will discuss the treatment that is most appropriate for you. Rest assured, at Aurora, you’ll have a team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and infectious disease specialists to support you and help you on the road to recovery.

Why Aurora?

You're at the Heart of Our Care 

Aurora Health Care offers coordinated care for preventing, diagnosing and treating heart and vascular disease. World-renowned heart and vascular specialists diagnose and treat all types of cardiovascular conditions and disorders, using the most advanced state-of-the-art tools and technologies available today. 

We have 15 hospitals and 155 clinics throughout eastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois so you can find a location that's closest to you. 

What’s all this mean to you? Convenient, coordinated and expert care.

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