Prevention of infective endocarditis: guidelines from the American Heart Association

American Heart Association
American Heart Association
Publication date:
08 October 2007


This statement aims to update the 1997 recommendations by the American Heart Association for the prevention of infective endocarditis. The main changes in the updated recommendations include the following:

  • Only an extremely small number of cases of infective endocarditis might be prevented by antibiotic prophylaxis for dental procedures even if such prophylactic therapy were 100% effective.
  • Infective endocarditis prophylaxis for dental procedures is reasonable only for patients with underlying cardiac conditions associated with the highest risk of adverse outcome from infective endocarditis.
  • For patients with these underlying cardiac conditions, prophylaxis is reasonable for all dental procedures that involve manipulation of gingival tissue or the periapical region of teeth or perforation of the oral mucosa.
  • Prophylaxis is not recommended based solely on an increased lifetime risk of acquisition of infective endocarditis.
  • Administration of antibiotics solely to prevent endocarditis is not recommended for patients who undergo a genitourinary or gastrointestinal tract procedure.