The health care provider may detect a new heart murmur, or a change in a past heart murmur.
An eye exam may show bleeding in the retina and a central area of clearing. This finding is known as Roth's spots. There may be small, pinpoint areas of bleeding on the surface of the eye or the eyelids.
Tests that may be done include:
Blood culture to help identify the bacteria or fungus that is causing the infection
Further damage to the heart valves, causing heart failure
Spread of the infection to other parts of the body
Stroke, caused by small clots or pieces of the infection breaking off and traveling to the brain
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you notice the following symptoms during or after treatment:
Blood in urine
Weight loss without change in diet
The American Heart Association recommends preventive antibiotics for people at risk for infectious endocarditis, such as those with:
Certain birth defects of the heart
Heart transplant and valve problems
Man-made (prosthetic) heart valves
Past history of endocarditis
These people should receive antibiotics when they have:
Dental procedures that are likely to cause bleeding
Procedures involving the breathing tract
Procedures involving the urinary tract system
Procedures involving the digestive tract
Procedures on skin infections and soft tissue infections
Baddour LM, Freeman WK, Suri RM, Wilson WR. Cardiovascular infections. In: Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 64.
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.
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.
Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.