Prevention of Infective Endocarditis -- Updated Guidelines

Expert: Larry M. Baddour, M.D.; Interviewer: Peter C. Block, M.D., F.A.C.C.



In This Article


Infective endocarditis (IE) is an uncommon but life-threatening infection. Because it is relatively rare (affecting about 15,000 new patients each year in the United States) and a heterogeneous disease, definitive studies have been difficult to conduct.

What is apparent from the available knowledge base is that despite advances in diagnosis, antimicrobial therapy, surgical techniques, and management of complications, patients with IE still have high morbidity and mortality rates related to this condition.

In the United States and Western Europe, the incidence rate of community-acquired native-valve endocarditis ranges from 1.7 to 6.2 cases per 100,000 person, and men are affected more often than women. Conditions associated with higher incidence of IE include poor dental hygiene, diabetes, and long-term hemodialysis.[1] The overall aging of populations also contributes to the rising incidence of IE.


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