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Definition of Endocarditis

By Victor F. Huckell, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine;Staff Cardiologist, University of British Columbia;Vancouver General Hospital

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Endocarditis usually refers to infection of the endocardium (ie,infective endocarditis). The term can also include noninfective endocarditis, in which sterile platelet and fibrin thrombi form on cardiac valves and adjacent endocardium. Noninfective endocarditis sometimes leads to infective endocarditis. Both can result in embolization and impaired cardiac function.

The diagnosis of infective endocarditis is usually based on a constellation of clinical findings rather than a single definitive test result.

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