Encyclopedia Home / I / Infectious endocarditis

Infectious endocarditis

  • Alternative Names

    Endocarditis - infectious


    Symptoms

    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