Septic-embolic encephalitis, also referred as septic-embolic brain abscess, corresponds to a focal or diffuse brain infection, ischemic and hemorrhagic damages following an infective thromboembolism from any part of the body 1. It is usually caused by bacterial infections from endocarditis.
Septic-embolic encephalitis must be differentiated from sepsis-associated encephalopathy, which is a clinical syndrome related to a diffuse brain dysfunction in the context of sepsis and without overt CNS infection.
In most series CNS involvement during the course of infective endocarditis occurs in 20% to 40% of cases 2.
Symptoms can vary from headache to unconsciousness, the most common are 1,3: fever, toxic encephalopathy (characterized by mental status changes and psychosis), meningism signs, headache and seizures.
- cardiac disease:
- rheumatic cardiovascular disease
- mitral valve prolapse
- prosthetic cardiac valves
- congenital heart disease
- drug addiction (intravenous drugs)
- immunocompromised patients
- central venous catheter
- arteriovenous shunts