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Infective Endocarditis

Infective Endocarditis - Treatments

If left untreated, infective endocarditis (IE) can result in life-threatening complications. As such, IE is typically treated with medication or surgical intervention.


Most people with infective or bacterial endocarditis can be treated with a high dose of antibiotics administered via an IV drip. Blood cultures will continue be taken throughout the patient’s stay in the hospital to monitor his/her symptoms and the treatment progress. When the symptoms have largely gone away, the patient might be discharged. However, the patient will have to continue with the IV antibiotics at home or with their doctor for several weeks. 

If IE is caused by a fungal infection, antifungal medication might have to be taken for life to prevent the infection from recurring. 

Surgical procedures 

Surgical procedures might be required for those with severe IE infections or to replace a damaged heart valve. The key surgical procedures used to treat IE are valve repair/replacement, fluid or pus drainage, and repair of any unusual passageways (fistula) that have developed. Generally, surgery will be recommended to patients with the following:

  • Persistent symptoms like a high fever even with medication
  • IE due to fungal infections
  • Prosthetic (artificial) heart valve 
  • Potential heart failure due to valve issues  
  • Build-up of pus or fluid
  • Opening of an unusual passageway (fistula) in the heart
  • Valve disease or damage

Generally, the benefits of surgical intervention include:

  • Increased chances of survival
  • Lower risk of recurrent IE infections
  • Prolonged symptom relief 
  • Preservation of heart function which can prevent heart failure

Despite the benefits of surgical intervention for those with IE, this may not always be suitable. Those who are older, have chronic conditions or weaker immune systems might be unable to undergo surgery. Please speak with your doctor to discuss your suitability for these surgical procedures. 

Infective Endocarditis - Post-surgery care

Infective Endocarditis - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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