Infective rhomboencephalitis and inverted Takotsubo: neurogenic-stunned myocardium or myocarditis?

Francesco Ruggieri, Marco Cerri, Luigi Beretta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Here we originally describe the clinical scenario of a young immune-competent patient affected by acute rhomboencephalitis with severe parenchymal edema and acute hydrocephalus who developed sudden life-threatening cardiac derangement. Hemodynamic and perfusion parameters revealed cardiogenic shock, so intensive circulatory support with epinephrine infusion and intra-aortic balloon pump was needed to restore organ perfusion. Transesophageal echocardiographic examination showed severe left ventricular dysfunction (ejection fraction as low as 20%) with wall motion abnormalities resembling a pattern of Takotsubo-inverted cardiomyopathy. Cultural investigations revealed infection by Listeria monocytogenes. Nevertheless, her conditions rapidly improved, and she had full cardiac recovery within few days. Acute cerebral damage, pattern of echocardiographic wall motion abnormalities, and clinical course may suggest neurogenic stunned as pathological mechanism responsible for cardiac dysfunction, but differential diagnosis with acute myocarditis is to be considered too. Acute cardiogenic shock during the course of rhomboencephalitis by L monocytogenes has not been yet reported; prompt clinical suspicion and intensive care are needed to manage this life-threatening condition.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe American journal of emergency medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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