J Am Coll Radiol. 2021 May;18(5S):S52-S61. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2021.01.010.
Infective endocarditis can involve a normal, abnormal, or prosthetic cardiac valve. The diagnosis is typically made clinically with persistently positive blood cultures, characteristic signs and symptoms, and echocardiographic evidence of valvular vegetations or valvular complications such as abscess, dehiscence, or new regurgitation. Imaging plays an important role in the initial diagnosis of infective endocarditis, identifying complications, prognostication, and informing the next steps in therapy. This document outlines the initial imaging appropriateness of a patient with suspected infective endocarditis and for additional imaging in a patient with known or suspected infective endocarditis. The American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer reviewed journals and the application of well-established methodologies (RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where evidence is lacking or equivocal, expert opinion may supplement the available evidence to recommend imaging or treatment.