Infection is the commonest complication of stroke and has a major impact on morbidity and mortality. The relationships between susceptibility to infection after stroke and the influence of infection on stroke outcome are complex, but have considerable clinical relevance. Both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions in acute stroke may affect the risk of developing infection by influencing potentially modifiable risk factors, for example exposure to infectious organisms (dysphagia/aspiration), or immune susceptibility to infectious challenge. Treatment of infection itself may also reduce ischaemic injury, and influence outcome following stroke. In this review we discuss the role of current and emerging treatments for stroke and their effects on infection, considering possible underlying mechanisms and implications for the development of new therapies.
Keywords: Stroke, cerebral ischemia, infection, inflammation, dysphagia, treatment, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist
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