Significance of the T2*-weighted Gradient Echo Brain Imaging in Patients With Infective Endocarditis

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2010 Jun;112(5):436-40. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2010.03.004. Epub 2010 Apr 3.


Background: Although aneurysm formation accompanying parenchymal hemorrhage is one of devastating complications in the central nerves system (CNS), imaging studies of the brain are not routinely warranted in patients with infective endocarditis (IE). To assess the clinical importance for detecting silent lesions in the central nervous system, we investigated hypointense signal spots detected on the brain T2*-weighted MR imaging in patients with IE.

Methods and results: Eleven patients with IE were retrospectively reviewed. Seven patients (63.6%) showed hypointense signal spots on T2*-weighted MR images. The number of hypointense signal spots increased within only a few weeks in five patients.

Conclusion: The brain T2*-weighted MR imaging in patients with IE may have a potential role to detect CNS lesions with clinical significance of potentially high risk of intracranial hemorrhage. T2*-weighted hypointense signal spots may be specific to brain involvement, and be quite useful in monitoring CNS lesions associated with IE, even if they are asymptomatic.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Echo-Planar Imaging / instrumentation*
  • Endocarditis / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / complications*
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult