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Risk factors

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Risk factors for infective endocarditis include: (1) (2)

  • congenital lesions:
    • ventral septal defect
    • tetralogy of Fallot
    • coarctation of aorta
    • patent ductus arteriosus
  • vascular abnormalities:
    • rheumatic involvement of any valve - but now less important in developed countries
    • bicuspid or calcific aortic valve
    • hypertrophic subaortic stenosis
    • mitral valve prolapse - most prevalent
  • I.V. drug abuse
  • abortion
  • prosthetic valve replacement
  • cardiac / urinary catheterisation
  • any invasive diagnostic or surgical procedure e.g.:
    • dental
    • upper respiratory
    • urological
    • lower GI
    • less commonly, upper GI and gynaecological


1. British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (2012). Guidelines for the diagnosis and antibiotic treatment of endocarditis in adults (

2. European Society of Cardiology (Aug 2023). 2023 ESC Guidelines for the management of infective endocarditis.

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