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Q J Med. 1989 Dec;73(272):1135-42.

Neurological presentations of native valve endocarditis.

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Department of Microbiology, United Medical School, Guy's Hospital, St Thomas's Campus, London.


In a prospective study of 178 episodes of community-acquired native valve infective endocarditis seen at St Thomas' Hospital between 1969 and 1987, 59 patients (33 per cent) presented with neurological disorders that included meningitis, toxic confusion, major thromboembolic phenomena and headache. A neurological presentation occurred in 54 per cent of all cases of staphylococcal endocarditis, but in only 19 per cent of episodes of 'viridans' streptococcal and enterococcal endocarditis. Overall one-third of patients with staphylococcal endocarditis presented with clinical features of meningitis (40 per cent with no cardiac murmur). The mortality rate for community-acquired native valve endocarditis was higher for those with a neurological presentation than without.

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