AbstractIntroduction Central nervous system (CNS) infections can have various presentations including Cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) which may go unrecognized as a presentation of infection. We describe three cases of different CNS infections complicated by CVA. Presentation Case 1 describes a 27-year-old man, presenting with symptoms consistent with a transient ischemic attack found to have racemose neurocysticercosis. Case 2 describes a 55-year-old man with low grade fevers for 4 weeks accompanied by visual and gait disturbances and delayed speech diagnosed with multiple small left thalamocapsular and superior cerebellar infarcts secondary to cryptococcal meningitis. The third case describes a man with pneumococcal meningitis complicated by cerebellar infarcts. Discussion CNS vascular compromise secondary to infections may be due to vasculitis, an immune-mediated parainfectious process causing vasospasm or thrombosis, or a hypercoagulable state with endothelial dysfunction. Patients with CVAs are at risk for aspiration pneumonia, urinary tract infections (especially catheter related) and other nosocomial infections and their clinical presentation may be very similar to CNS infections. Conclusion The cases described demonstrate that CNS infections need to be considered in the differential diagnosis of CVAs presenting with fevers. The signs and symptoms of non-CNS infections associated with CVAs may be clinically indistinguishable from those of CNS infections. The outcomes of untreated CNS infections are extremely poor. It is thus imperative to have a high index of suspicion for CNS infection when evaluating CVAs with fevers or other signs of infection.
School of Medicine