Testing & diagnosis for bacterial endocarditis in children

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Contact the Congenital Heart Valve Program

How is bacterial endocarditis diagnosed?

A blood test is the major test for bacterial endocarditis. We may need to take three to five blood samples in a 24-hour period to determine the presence of the bacteria. Other tests might include:

  • a urine sample may indicate the presence of infection
  • an echocardiogram (EKG or ECG) may detect an abnormality, such as a mass on a heart valve or on the heart wall surface. EKG is one of the simplest and fastest procedures used to evaluate the heart. Electrodes (small, plastic patches) are placed at certain locations on your child's chest, arms and legs. When the electrodes are connected to the EKG machine, the electrical activity of your child's heart is measured and printed out for the physician's information and interpretation.
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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
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