[Infection associated cerebral vasculitis]

Rev Med Interne. 2021 Apr;42(4):258-268. doi: 10.1016/j.revmed.2020.05.027. Epub 2020 Aug 29.
[Article in French]


Infections are a frequent cause of cerebral vasculitis, important to diagnose because a specific treatment may be required. Infection-associated vasculitis can be caused by angiotropic pathogens (varicella zoster virus, syphilis, aspergillus). They can be associated with subarachnoidal meningitis (tuberculosis, pyogenic meningitis, cysticercosis). They can appear contiguously to sinuses or orbital infection (aspergillosis, mucormycosis). Finally, they also may be due to an immune mechanism in the context of chronic infections (hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, human immunodeficiency virus). Cerebral vasculitis are severe conditions and their prognosis is directly linked to early recognition and diagnosis. Infectious causes must therefore be systematically considered ahead of cerebral vasculitis, and the appropriate investigations must be determined according to the patient's clinical context. We propose here an update on the infectious causes of cerebral vasculitis, their diagnosis modalities, and therapeutic options.

Keywords: Central nervous system angiitis; Infectious vasculitis; Vascularite cérébrale; Vascularite infectieuse.

MeSH terms

  • HIV Infections*
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human
  • Humans
  • Syphilis*
  • Tuberculosis*
  • Vasculitis, Central Nervous System* / complications
  • Vasculitis, Central Nervous System* / diagnosis