Intracranial infectious aneurysm: Presentation, management and outcome



      Intracranial infectious aneurysms (IA) are infrequent, but can be fatal.


      To compare the clinical profile of IAs associated with intravascular/systemic infection like infective endocarditis with that associated with local infections like meningitis, orbital cellulitis and cavernous sinus thrombosis.


      We analysed all cases of IA, treated in this Institute from 1976 to 2003, in order to identify prognostic factors.


      There were 25 persons (mean age 24.8±17.3 years, males 17) with 29 IA (carotid circulation 19, vertebrobasilar circulation 10). Headache (83%) and fever (67%) were the most common presenting symptoms. In contrast to noninfectious aneurysms, intracerebral haemorrhage (60%) and focal signs were more common than subarachnoid haemorrhage (7%) with IA. Sources of infection were cardiac (10), meningitis (12), orbital cellulitis (2) or uncertain (1). Infective agents included bacteria (18), fungi (4), and tubercle bacilli (3). Fifteen IA were distal and 14 were proximal. IAs associated with meningitis were proximal (75%) while those associated with cardiac diseases preferentially involved carotid territory and were distal (p=0.013). The overall mortality was 32%. Survivors were younger than those who expired (p=0.015). Of the sixteen patients treated medically, seven recovered (44%), others (56%) had treatment failure (three died and six required surgery later). Another five patients underwent early surgery (one died). Mortality of IA was significantly higher with meningitis, fungal aetiology and vertebrobasilar location.


      IAs associated with local infections like meningitis had different clinical profile as compared to IAs associated with intravascular/systemic infections like infective endocarditis.


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