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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Endocarditis?

Infective endocarditis (IE) can cause a range of signs and symptoms that can vary from person to person. Signs and symptoms also can vary over time in the same person.

Signs and symptoms differ depending on whether you have an underlying heart problem, the type of germ causing the infection, and whether you have acute or subacute IE.

Signs and symptoms of IE may include:

  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, fatigue (tiredness), aching muscles and joints, night sweats, and headaches.
  • Shortness of breath or a cough that won't go away.
  • A new heart murmur or a change in an existing heart murmur.
  • Skin changes such as:
    • Overall paleness.
    • Small, painful, red or purplish bumps under the skin on the fingers or toes.
    • Small, dark, painless flat spots on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet.
    • Tiny spots under the fingernails, on the whites of the eyes, on the roof of the mouth and inside of the cheeks, or on the chest. These spots are from broken blood vessels.
  • Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach), vomiting, a decrease in appetite, a sense of fullness with discomfort on the upper left side of the abdomen, or weight loss with or without a change in appetite.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Swelling in the feet, legs, or abdomen.
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Endocarditis Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Endocarditis, visit

October 01, 2010 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.