Infective endocarditis: etiology, pathogenesis, diagnostic and management

Gustė Burneikaitė1

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Academy of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania


Infective endocarditis is disease caused by bacteria or fungi infringing cardiac devices, native or prosthetic valves. Gram-positive cocci are the main causative agents of the disease and account for 80–90% of infective endocarditis. The healthy cardiac endothelium is resistant to bacteremia, first endothelium should be injured. After that, depending on micro and macro organisms‘ properties infective endocarditis occurs. Blood cultures and echocardiography are the first and main steps for diagnostic. Other imaging modalities can enchase diagnosis, particularly in patients with intracardiac device or prosthetic valve. Recently nuclear imaging techniques are used more often. If blood culture is negative other microbiological tests are performed. The main stones of infective endocarditis management are antibiotic therapy and surgical treatment. Evidence from observational studies support early surgical intervention to reduce morbidity and mortality from this lethal condition. The aim of this literature analysis is to review the etiology, pathogenesis, diagnostic and management principles and recommended prevention of the infective endocarditis.

Key words: infective endocarditis, Duke criteria, echocardiography, antibiotic therapy.