Overview

Bacterial Endocarditis

Bacterial endocarditis is an infection of the heart valves or inner lining of the heart, called the endocardium. Bacteria in the mouth, intestinal tract or urinary tract travel to the heart via the bloodstream and can cause growths or holes in the valves or tissue, seriously damaging the heart.

This bacteria generally don't cause problems but can be life threatening in patients with heart disease or valve conditions.

Our Approach to Bacterial Endocarditis

UCSF's cardiac specialists are highly trained in preventing, diagnosing and treating bacterial endocarditis. We evaluate patients for this infection of the heart linings using blood tests, imaging and electrocardiography. After diagnosis, we treat the infection with intravenous antibiotics. Surgery may be required in cases where the infection has damaged the heart, and our surgical team offers these patients the full range of minimally invasive techniques.

People born with heart defects are at a higher risk of developing endocarditis. Our congenital heart disease program provides these patients with exceptional, ongoing care aimed at lessening the chance of infection, detecting signs early and responding with a treatment plan tailored to individual needs.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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