Infectious causes of stroke

Lancet Infect Dis. 2014 Sep;14(9):869-80. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(14)70755-8. Epub 2014 May 31.


Most infectious pathogens have anecdotal evidence to support a link with stroke, but certain pathogens have more robust associations, in which causation is probable. Few dedicated prospective studies of stroke in the setting of infection have been done. The use of head imaging, a clinical standard of diagnostic care, to confirm stroke and stroke type is not universal. Data for stroke are scarce in locations where infections are probably most common, making it difficult to reach conclusions on how populations differ in terms of risk of infectious stroke. The treatment of infections and stroke, when concomitant, is based on almost no evidence and requires dedicated efforts to understand variations that might exist. We highlight the present knowledge and emphasise the need for stronger evidence to assist in the diagnosis, treatment, and secondary prevention of stroke in patients in whom an infectious cause for stroke is probable.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System Infections / complications
  • Endocarditis / complications
  • Humans
  • Infections / complications*
  • Stroke / etiology*
  • Stroke / therapy
  • Syphilis / complications
  • Tuberculosis / complications