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Infective Endocarditis in Adults: Diagnosis, Antimicrobial Therapy, and Management of Complications

Published ,

Circulation. 2015;132:1435-1486

Published: 15 September 2015


*AHA published a correction to the original 2015 guideline. See the August 22, 2016 correction.

Larry M. Baddour, Walter R. Wilson, Arnold S. Bayer, Vance G. Fowler, Imad M. Tleyjeh, Michael J. Rybak, Bruno Barsic, Peter B. Lockhart, Michael H. Gewitz, Matthew E. Levison, Ann F. Bolger, James M. Steckelberg, Robert S. Baltimore, Anne M. Fink, Patrick O’Gara, and Kathryn A. Taubert



Infective endocarditis is a potentially lethal disease that has undergone major changes in both host and pathogen. The epidemiology of infective endocarditis has become more complex with today’s myriad healthcare-associated factors that predispose to infection. Moreover, changes in pathogen prevalence, in particular a more common staphylococcal origin, have affected outcomes, which have not improved despite medical and surgical advances.

Methods and Results

This statement updates the 2005 iteration, both of which were developed by the American Heart Association under the auspices of the Committee on Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis, and Kawasaki Disease, Council on Cardiovascular Disease of the Young. It includes an evidence-based system for diagnostic and treatment recommendations used by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association for treatment recommendations.


Infective endocarditis is a complex disease, and patients with this disease generally require management by a team of physicians and allied health providers with a variety of areas of expertise. The recommendations provided in this document are intended to assist in the management of this uncommon but potentially deadly infection. The clinical variability and complexity in infective endocarditis, however, dictate that these recommendations be used to support and not supplant decisions in individual patient management.


For information on the recommendations of this guideline, please see the AHA Scientific Statement.

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