Cerebrovascular complications of meningitis have been most extensively documented in the setting of acute bacterial or chronic tuberculous meningitis. Involvement of major cerebral vessels is rare and basilar artery thrombosis has not been reported in fungal meningitis secondary to Candida infection.
We describe the clinical course and neuropathological findings in a woman with chronic meningitis due to Candida albicans.
The diagnosis remained elusive antemortem despite analysis of 7 large volume CSF samples and examination of a meningeal and cortical biopsy. Death followed extensive brainstem and temporo-occipital infarction secondary to basilar artery thrombosis. The basilar artery occlusion was secondary to an intense, granulomatous and necrotizing basal meningitis focally extending to the media and intima.
This paroxysmal and devastating complication of untreated chronic candida meningitis reinforces that a trial of empirical therapy with both antituberculous and antifungal agents should be considered in most cases of chronic culture-negative lymphocytic meningitis.