Endocarditis: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Endocarditis, an inflammation of the valves of the heart, causes symptoms that can be nonspecific and similar to those of many other conditions. For example, fever, malaise, weakness, and shortness of breath are common symptoms of endocarditis. Other symptoms that can occur with endocarditis are

  • chills,
  • night sweats,
  • fatigue,
  • joint and muscle aches, and
  • swelling of the legs, abdomen, and feet due to fluid accumulation (edema).

Depending upon the cause of the endocarditis, other symptoms can occur. These include

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • blood in the urine,
  • headaches,
  • cough,
  • pale skin, and
  • painful red-purplish bumps under the skin of the fingers and toes known as Osler's nodes.

Tiny hemorrhages known as petechiae can appear in the whites of the eyes, on the skin, or inside the mouth.

Causes of middle ear infection

Endocarditis is usually caused by bacterial growth on one of the heart valves, leading to an infected mass called a "vegetation." People who have a damaged heart valve or congenital (inborn) abnormalities of the heart valves are at greatest risk for this process to occur. In some cases, the bacterial infection may be introduced during dental work, colonoscopy, and other similar procedures in which bacteria may briefly enter the bloodstream.

Other endocarditis symptoms and signs

  • Abdominal Swelling
  • Abdominal Tenderness
  • Blood in Urine
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Joint Aches
  • Leg Swelling
  • Lumps on Skin
  • Malaise
  • Muscle Aches
  • Nausea
  • Night Sweats
  • Pale Skin
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Skin Petechiae
  • Swollen Feet
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/10/2019


Heart Disease: Symptoms, Signs, and Causes See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors