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Neurological Sequelae of Infectious Endocarditis

Infective Endocarditis and the CNS

Endocarditis can have profound and devastating neurologic consequences.
The incidence of central nervous system (CNS) complications in infective endocarditis is approximately 30% and these manifestations are often the first sign of illness (47% of the time in one series).

In most cases, the neurologic sequelae are present before the initiation of antimicrobial therapy (76%). Even amnesia can herald a diagnosis of infective endocarditis.

The Massachusetts General Hospital experience from 1964-1973 yielded 218 patients with bacterial endocarditis, 84 of whom had neurologic complications (38%).

Another series (133 patients) demonstrated a similar proportion (41%) of patients with infective endocarditis with neurologic problems.

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