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Neurotherapeutics. 2012 Jan;9(1):124-38. doi: 10.1007/s13311-011-0086-5.

Neuro-intensive care of patients with acute CNS infections.

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Department of Neurology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


Infections in the central nervous system (CNS) are caused by a wide range of microorganisms resulting in distinct clinical syndromes including meningitis, encephalitis, and pyogenic infections, such as empyema and brain abscess. Bacterial and viral infections in the CNS can be rapidly fatal and can result in severe disability in survivors. Appropriate identification and acute management of these infections often occurs in a critical care setting and is vital to improving outcomes in this group of patients. This review of diagnosis and management of acute bacterial and viral infections in the CNS provides a general approach to patients with a suspected CNS infection and also provides a more detailed review of the diagnosis and management of patients with suspected bacterial meningitis, viral encephalitis, brain abscess, and subdural empyema.

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