Symptoms & Signs
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 extreme fatigue and breathing difficulty.
Diagnosis & Tests
There is usually an obvious source of infection, such as an infected catheter, a dental abscess, or an infected skin lesion. However, in many patients there is no history of infection.
A physical exam may reveal:
- Heart murmur
- Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
The following tests may be done:
- Chest x-ray
- Complete blood count
- Echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart)
- Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE), a special echocardiogram done by introducing a small probe into the patient’s mouth and down the esophagus
Review Date : 4/25/2008
Reviewed By : Mark Levin, MD, Division of Infectious Disease, MacNeal Hospital, Berwyn, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.