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Infectious endocarditis

  • Alternative Names

    Endocarditis - infectious


    Symptoms of endocarditis may develop slowly (subacute) or suddenly (acute). Fever is the classic symptom and may persist for days before any other symptoms appear.

    Other symptoms may include:

    • Abnormal urine color
    • Blood in the urine
    • Chills
    • Excessive sweating
    • Fatigue
    • Joint pain
    • Muscle aches and pains
    • Nail abnormalities (splinter hemorrhages under the nails)
    • Night sweats (may be severe)
    • Paleness
    • Red, painless skin spots on the palms and soles (Janeway lesions)
    • Red, painful nodes (Osler's nodes) in the pads of the fingers and toes
    • Shortness of breath with activity
    • Swelling of feet, legs, abdomen
    • Weakness
    • Weight loss

    Signs and tests

    The health care provider may hear abnormal sounds, called murmurs, when listening to your heart with a stethoscope.

    A physical exam may also reveal:

    • Enlarged spleen
    • Splinter hemorrhages in the fingernails

    A history of congenital heart disease raises the level of suspicion. An eye exam may show bleeding in the retina a central area of clearing. This is known as Roth's spots.

    The following tests may be performed:

    • Blood culture and sensitivity (to detect bacteria)
    • Chest x-ray
    • Complete blood count (may show mild anemia)
    • CT scan of the chest
    • Echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart)
    • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
    • Transesophageal echocardiogram