What Is Endocarditis?

Welcome to Endocarditis.org

This web site is divided into 3 sections:

  • Endocarditis.org – Covers information, news, and educational materials about endocarditis that may be of interest to patients and clinicians.
  • ISCVID – International Symposium on Modern Concepts in Endocarditis and Cardiovascular Infections hold annual meetings to address endocarditis issues and research. This section is where participates can stay informed regarding programs, and registration
  • ICE – International Collaboration on Endocarditis information about ICE’s goals, studies, and members.

Endocarditis is a term which describes inflammation and/or infection of the lining (the endocardium) that comprises the inner surface of the heart. Endocarditis commonly affects heart valves, but may also involve non-valvular areas and/or mechanical devices that are implanted in the heart such as artificial heart valves, pacemakers, or implantable defibrillators.

Infective endocarditis is an uncommon but not rare disease, affecting about 10,000 – 20,000 persons in the United States each year. Although uncommon, it is important because endocarditis is a disease which despite antimicrobial therapy can result in serious complications such as stroke, the need for open heart surgery, or even death.

Mitral Valve Vegetation from a Surgical Specimen of Prosthetic Valve

This picture is of a vegetation on a mitral valve from a patient who had the mitral valve removed at surgery.
(Courtesy of Vance G. Fowler, Jr., MD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC)