Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 64-78

Stroke in central nervous system infections


Department of Neurology, Sarah Hospital, The Sarah network of Rehabilitation Hospitals, Brasilia DF, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Francisco Javier Carod-Artal
Neurology Department, Sarah Hospital, The Sarah Network of Rehabilitation Hospitals, SMHS, quadra 501 conjunto A. CEP 70330-150. Brasilia, DF
Brazil
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Background: Stroke subtypes and etiology may differ between developing and developed countries. Infections are a relatively common cause of stroke in tropical regions. Objective: To review the main infectious diseases associated with stroke. Discussion: Prevalence of stroke in HIV patients is around 1%. Pathogenic mechanisms include HIV vasculopathy, vasculitis, cardioembolism, acquired hypercoagulability, and the effect of opportunistic infections. Treatment with protease inhibitors has been associated with premature atherosclerotic vascular disease. Emerging viral infections that are associated with stroke include viral hemorrhagic fevers, Japanese encephalitis, dengue, and West Nile virus. Vasculitis involving perforating vessels of the brain is a cerebrovascular complication of tuberculous meningitis. Small, medium, and large arteries of the anterior circulation can be involved. A progressive intracranial arteriopathy after Leptospira interrogans infection has been described, which involves the large intracranial arteries. Cerebrovascular complications of mycosis are associated with large vessel vasculitis, direct vessel damage by invasion or embolization, and subarachnoid hemorrhage due to mycotic aneurysm rupture. Pathological findings of cerebral malaria include diffuse cerebral edema, perivascular ring hemorrhages, white matter necrosis, parenchyma petechial hemorrhages, occlusion of brain vessels, and sequestration of infected erythrocytes in cortical and perforating arteries. Stroke can occur in subarachnoid neurocysticercosis and the lesions in such cases consist mostly of deep lacunar infarctions resulting from endarteritis of small penetrating arteries. Cardiac arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, apical aneurysm, and mural thrombus are the conditions that predispose patients with American trypanosomiasis to cardioembolism. Gnathostoma spinigerum infestation is a cause of hemorrhagic stroke in Asia. Conclusion: Infectious and tropical diseases should be included in the differential diagnoses of stroke.


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