800 Biesterfield Rd, Suite 201, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007   Phone: 847-593-8460

Chicago Heart InstituteChicago Vein Clinic


Endocarditis - an inflammation of the inside lining of the heart chambers and heart valves (endocardium), can involve the heart muscle, heart valves, or lining of the heart.

Most people who develop endocarditis have underlying valvular heart disease. Injection drug use, recent dental surgery, permanent central venous access lines, prior valve surgery, and weakened valves are risk factors for developing endocarditis. Bacterial infection is the most common source of endocarditis. However, it can also be caused by fungi. In some cases, no causative organism can be identified.


  • fatigue, weakness, fever, chills
  • night sweats, may be severe
  • weight loss, muscle aches and pains
  • heart murmur, shortness of breath with activity
  • red painless skin spots, located on the palms and soles (called Janeway lesions)
  • red, painful nodes in the pads of the fingers and toes (called Osler's nodes)
  • joint pain, abnormal urine color

Hospitalization is often required initially to treat administer intravenous antibiotics. Long-term antibiotic therapy is required to eradicate the bacteria from the heart chambers and vegetations on the valves.

If heart failure develops as a result of damaged heart valves, or if the infection is breaking off in little pieces resulting in a series of
strokes, surgery to replace the affected heart valve may be indicated.