Critical care management of infectious meningitis and encephalitis

  • Geert MeyfroidtEmail author
  • Pedro Kurtz
  • Romain Sonneville
Understanding the Disease
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Infections

Central nervous system (CNS) infections represent 2.9% of the infections encountered in the intensive care unit (ICU) [1]. Among them, infectious meningitis and encephalitis, regardless of their community or healthcare-associated origin, often have dramatic consequences, including permanent brain injury and mortality. Due to the potential severity of presentation and the acute risk of mortality, many of these patients are admitted to the ICU. Their management requires a thorough understanding of not only epidemiology and diagnostic workup, but also of antimicrobial and adjunctive treatments.


Acute bacterial meningitis

The worldwide incidence of acute bacterial meningitis is highly variable depending on the region, ranging from 207.4 (95% UI 183.9–233.9) per 100,000 in South Sudan to as low as 0.5 (0.4–0.7) per 100,000 in Australia [2]. Mortality is high, ranging from 17 to 40%, depending on causative pathogen and country income status. The global number of...


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

GM is funded by the Research Foundation, Flanders (FWO), as senior clinical investigator (1843118 N) and receives project research funding from the KU Leuven (C24/17/072); he has received consultancy and lecture fees from Codman. RS received grants from the French Ministry of Health, the French Society of Intensive Care Medicine (SRLF) and the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM), and lecture fees from Baxter.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies involving animals or human participants performed by any of the authors. The review, and decisions on authorship, were performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Intensive Care Medicine, Department of Cellular and Molecular MedicineKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Intensive Care MedicineUniversity Hospitals LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Neuro-Critical Care UnitInstituto Estadual Do Cérebro Paulo Niemeyer and Hospital Copa StarRio de JaneiroBrasil
  4. 4.Université de ParisParisFrance
  5. 5.APHP, Intensive Care MedicineHôpital Bichat—Claude BernardParisFrance

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