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SYMPOSIUM: EMBOLISM IN THE INTENSIVE CARE UNIT
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 58-63

Septic embolism in the intensive care unit


1 Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Burns, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA
2 Division of Cardiac Surgery, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA
3 Department of Anesthesiology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA
4 Department of Anesthesiology and Neurological Surgery, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA

Correspondence Address:
Stanislaw P Stawicki
Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Burns, Suite 634, 395 West 12th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2229-5151.109423

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Septic embolism encompasses a wide range of presentations and clinical considerations. From asymptomatic, incidental finding on advanced imaging to devastating cardiovascular or cerebral events, this important clinico-pathologic entity continues to affect critically ill patients. Septic emboli are challenging because they represent two insults-the early embolic/ischemic insult due to vascular occlusion and the infectious insult from a deep-seated nidus of infection frequently not amenable to adequate source control. Mycotic aneurysms and intravascular or end-organ abscesses can occur. The diagnosis of septic embolism should be considered in any patient with certain risk factors including bacterial endocarditis or infected intravascular devices. Treatment consists of long-term antibiotics and source control when possible. This manuscript provides a much-needed synopsis of the different forms and clinical presentations of septic embolism, basic diagnostic considerations, general clinical approaches, and an overview of potential complications.


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