• Alternative Names

    Valve infection


    The American Heart Association recommends preventive antibiotics for people at risk for infectious endocarditis before:

    • Certain dental procedures
    • Surgeries on respiratory tract or infected skin, skin structures, or musculoskeletal tissue

    Antibiotics are more likely to be recommended those with the following risk factors:

    • Artificial heart valves
    • Certain congenital heart defects, both before or possibly after repair
    • History of infective endocarditis
    • Valve problems after a heart transplant

    Continued medical follow-up is recommended for people with a previous history of infectious endocarditis.

    Persons who use intravenous drugs should seek treatment for addiction. If this is not possible, use a new needle for each injection, avoid sharing any injection-related paraphernalia, and use alcohol pads before injecting to reduce risk.


    Fowler VG Jr, Scheld WM, Bayer AS. Endocarditis and Intravascular Infections. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009; chapt 77.

    Karchmer AW. Infective Endocarditis. In: Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2007:chap 63.

    Wilson W, Taubert KA, Gewitz M, et al. Prevention of infective endocarditis: guidelines from the American Heart Association: a guideline from the American Heart Association Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis, and Kawasaki Disease Committee, Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young, and the Council on Clinical Cardiology, Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia, and the Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Interdisciplinary Working Group. Circulation. 2007 Oct 9;116(15):1736-54.