Bacterial Endocarditis | Causes & Risk Factors


Who gets bacterial endocarditis?

Although BE can occur in anyone, people who already have a diagnosed heart valve problem, an artificial valve or a heart defect are at greatest risk. Having a heart murmur sometimes increases the chances of getting BE. Your doctor can usually determine whether you have a type of heart murmur that increases your risk of BE.

Do medical and dental procedures increase the risk of BE?

If you have a heart defect or valve problem, dental work (including professional teeth cleaning) and some medical procedures (such as colonoscopy, cysoscopy and sigmoidoscopy) can increase the risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream.


Management of Bacterial Endocarditis by BE Giessel, MD; CJ Koenig, MD; RL Blake Jr, MD (American Family Physician March 15, 2000,

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 09/00