Endocarditis - children
The inner lining of the heart chambers and heart valves is called the endocardium. Endocarditis occurs when this tissue becomes swollen or inflamed.
Valve infection - children; Staphylococcus aureus - endocarditis - children; Enterococcus - endocarditis- children; Streptococcus viridians - endocarditis - children; Candida - endocarditis - children; Bacterial endocarditis - children; Infective endocarditis - children; Congenital heart disease - endocarditis - children
Endocarditis occurs when germs enter the bloodstream and then travel to the heart.
Endocarditis can involve the heart muscle, heart valves, or lining of the heart. Children with endocarditis may have a:
The risk is higher in children who have a history of heart surgery, which can leave rough areas in the lining of the heart chambers.
This makes it easier for bacteria to stick to the lining.
Germs are most likely to enter the bloodstream:
Symptoms of endocarditis may develop slowly or suddenly.
Fever, chills, and sweating are frequent symptoms. These sometimes can:
Other symptoms may include:
Neurological problems, such as seizures and, disturbed mental status
Signs of endocarditis can also include:
Exams and Tests
Your child's health care provider may perform transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) to check for endocarditis in children age 10 years or younger.
Other tests may include:
Treatment for endocarditis depends upon the:
Your child will need to be in the hospital to receive antibiotics through a vein (IV). Blood cultures and tests will help the provider choose the best antibiotic.
Your child will need long-term antibiotic therapy.
Surgery to replace an infected heart valve may be needed when:
Getting treatment for endocarditis right away improves the chances of clearing the infection and preventing complications.
The possible complications of endocarditis in children are:
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your child's provider if you notice the following symptoms during or after treatment:
The American Heart Association recommends preventive antibiotics for children at risk for endocarditis, such as those with:
These children should receive antibiotics when they have:
Baltimore RS, Gewitz M, Baddour LM, et al; American Heart Association Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis, and Kawasaki Disease Committee of the Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young and the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing. Infective endocarditis in childhood: 2015 update: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2015;132(15):1487-1515. PMID: 26373317 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26373317.
Marcdante KJ, Kliegman RM. Infective endocarditis. In: Marcdante KJ, Kliegman RM, eds. Nelson Essentials of Pediatrics. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 111.
Mick NW. Pediatric fever. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 166.
Kaplan SL, Vallejo JG. Infective endocarditis. In: Cherry JD, Harrison GJ, Kaplan SL, Steinbach WJ, Hotez PJ, eds. Feigin and Cherry's Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2019:chap 26.
Review Date: 5/20/2018
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.