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.
Last full review/revision January 2014 by Victor F. Huckell, MD
Content last modified January 2014