European Radiology

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 485–493 | Cite as

Cerebral infections

  • Spyros KarampekiosEmail author
  • John Hesselink


Despite the development of many effective antibiotic therapies and the general improvement in hygiene and health care systems all over the world, the incidence of central nervous system (CNS) infection has increased significantly in the past 15 years. This can be attributed primarily to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic and its devastating effect on the immune system and secondarily to various immunosuppressive agents that are being used in aggressive cancer treatment and in organ transplantations. The brain particularly is protected from infection by the calvarium, meninges and blood brain barrier. However, different types of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, can reach the brain hematogenously or, less likely, by direct extension from an adjacent infected focus. The early detection and specific diagnosis of infection are of great importance, since brain infections are potentially treatable diseases. Imaging studies play a crucial role in the diagnostic process, along with the history (exposure to infectious agents), host factors (open head trauma, CSF leak, sinusitis, otitis, immune status), physical examination and laboratory analysis of CSF.


Immunosuppression Infections Imaging 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyUniversity of CreteHeraklionGreece
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyUCSDSan DiegoUSA

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