Cerebrovascular events complicate the management of infective endocarditis. The purpose of this study is to analyze clinical features of cerebrovascular complications in infective endocarditis and to establish the appropriate time schedule of chemotherapy and cardiosurgical intervention. We studied the clinical data of 123 patients with active infective endocarditis of native valves retrospectively. Thirty-three patients (18 males and 15 females, age 17-57 years) had cerebrovascular complications such as cerebral ischemia (n = 22) or intracranial hemorrhage (n = 11). The majority of complications (21 ischemic and 13 hemorrhagic episodes) occurred prior to or within 1 month after chemotherapy. Fatal neurological deterioration developed after cardiac surgery in 2 patients. Both of them needed emergency cardiac surgery, because of worsening hemodynamic state, which was performed within 5 days after cerebral embolic events. The remaining patients undertaking cardiac surgery did all survive; in whom there were chemotherapeutic intervals of 11 days after ischemic events or of 23 days after hemorrhagic events. These medical records suggest that early cardiosurgical intervention, if necessary, needs at least 2-3 weeks of preceding chemotherapy. In cases undergoing more than 1 month of chemotherapy, cerebrovascular complications may be well managed by medical treatment alone.

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