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Paradoxical septic embolism in an Ebstein's anomaly patient leading to brain abscess: A case report.

UNLABELLED: Ebstein's anomaly (EA), a congenital cardiac anomaly, is characterized by apical displacement of the tricuspid valve leaflet(s) into the right ventricle. We present the case of a 61-year-old female with a history of EA, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, and patent foramen ovale (PFO), who presented with worsening hypoxia and confusion, in the setting of left lower extremity cellulitis and abscess. The computed tomography (CT) scan of the head showed a cerebellar infarct with hemorrhagic conversion. Magnetic resonance imaging of the head showed a satellite lesion raising concern for the embolic nature of infarcts. After ruling out cardioembolic causes of cerebellar infarction, her presenting symptoms were attributed to paradoxical septic emboli from the left leg abscess (demonstrated on CT scan of the leg). She was deemed a poor candidate for surgical closure of PFO due to contraindication to use heparin (due to the presence of hemorrhagic stroke) and underlying comorbidities. Septic embolization is a rare but dreaded complication in EA patients with PFO.

LEARNING OBJECTIVE: •Paradoxical emboli can occur in patients with Ebstein's anomaly (EA) and patent foramen ovale (PFO).•The mainstay of management in case of paradoxical embolism lies with the identification and treatment of the underlying cause, such as infective endocarditis, deep vein thrombosis, or infectious source, as in the present case.•The surgical correction of PFO in EA patients should be considered when the patient becomes symptomatic with cyanosis, hypoxia, or manifestations of paradoxical emboli.

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