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Klein, Matthias; Koedel, Uwe; Pfefferkorn, Thomas; Zeller, Grete; Woehrl, Bianca; Pfister, Hans-Walter: Arterial cerebrovascular complications in 94 adults with acute bacterial meningitis. In: Critical Care 2011, 15:R281
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Abstract

Introduction: Intracranial vascular complications are an important complication of acute bacterial meningitis. Ischemic stroke in meningitis is reported as a result of vasculitis, vasospasm, endocarditis or intraarterial thrombosis. The aim of the study was to identify the value of measuring cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFv) on transracranial doppler (TCD) in the identification of patients at risk for meningitis-associated stroke. Methods: We retrospectively studied patients with acute bacterial meningitis who were treated in our university hospital from 2000 to 2009. Data were analyzed with the main focus on the incidence of an increase of CBFv on TCD, defined as peak systolic values above 150 cm/s, and the development of stroke. Results: In total, 114 patients with acute bacterial meningitis were treated, 94 of them received routine TCD studies during their hospital stay. 41/94 patients had elevated CBFv values. This increase was associated with an increased risk of stroke (odds ratio (95% confidence intervall) = 9.15 (1.96-42.67); p < 0.001) and unfavorable outcome (Glasgow Outcome Score < 4; odds ratio (95% confidence intervall) = 2.93 (1.23-6.98); p = 0.018). 11/32 (34.4%) patients with an increase of CBFv who received nimodipine and 2/9 (22.2%) patients with an increase of CBFv who did not receive nimodipine developed stroke (p = 0.69). Conclusions: In summary, TCD was found to be a valuable bedside test to detect arterial alterations in patients with bacterial meningitis. These patients have an increased risk of stroke.