Central Nervous System Infections

  • Abigail Walker
  • Miles Denton
Part of the Competency-Based Critical Care book series (CBCC)

Key Points

  1. 1.

    Do not delay antibiotic or antiviral therapy if there is any suspicion of CNS infection

  2. 2.

    Get a senior review and seek help from the critical-care team

  3. 3.

    Seek urgent neurosurgical opinion if suspected cerebral abscess, subdural empyema, epidural abscess or ventriculitis is noticed in a patient with a shunt

  4. 4.

    Immunocompromised patients may be infected with unusual organisms

  5. 5.

    UK guidelines for treatment of meningitis in adults and children are readily available []



West Nile Virus Bacterial Meningitis Central Nervous System Infection Meningococcal Disease Herpes Simplex Encephalitis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Annane D, Bellissant E, Bollaert PE, Briegel J, Keh D, Kupfer Y (2004) Corticosteroids for severe sepsis and septic shock: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 329:480CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. de Beek Van, de Gans J (2004) Steroids for adults with acute bacterial meningitis: a systematic review. Lancet Infect Dis 4(3):139–143CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. National Institute for Clinical Excellence (2004) Drotecogin alfa (activated) for severe sepsis. London,
  4. Rivers E et al (2001) Early goal directed therapy in severe sepsis and septic shock. NEJM 345:1368–1377CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Van den Berge G et al (2001) Intensive Insulin therapy in critically ill patients. NEJM 354:1359–1367Google Scholar
  6. Meningitis research foundation, protocols for management of meningitis in adults and children see – health care professionals, paediatric protocol and treatment protocol for adults.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abigail Walker
    • 1
  • Miles Denton
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiaChristchurch HospitalChristchurchCanterbury
  2. 2.Leeds General Infirmary Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS TrustLeedsUK

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