Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you will not see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Infective endocarditis occurs worldwide, and is defined by infection of a native or prosthetic heart valve, the endocardial surface, or an indwelling cardiac device. The causes and epidemiology of the disease have evolved in recent decades with a doubling of the average patient age and an increased prevalence in patients with indwelling cardiac devices. The microbiology of the disease has also changed, and staphylococci, most often associated with health-care contact and invasive procedures, have overtaken streptococci as the most common cause of the disease. Although novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies have emerged, 1 year mortality has not improved and remains at 30%, which is worse than for many cancers. Logistical barriers and an absence of randomised trials hinder clinical management, and longstanding controversies such as use of antibiotic prophylaxis remain unresolved. In this Seminar, we discuss clinical practice, controversies, and strategies needed to target this potentially devastating disease.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





882 - 893


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Echocardiography, Endocarditis, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prognosis