Over the past 2 decades, the population of immunocompromised patients has increased dramatically in the United States. These patients are at elevated risk for both community-acquired and opportunistic central nervous system infections. We review the most common and serious central nervous system pathogens affecting these patients and outline a diagnostic and therapeutic approach to their management in the emergency department. We recommend a broad diagnostic evaluation, including neuroimaging and cerebrospinal fluid studies where appropriate, empiric antimicrobial therapy, and early involvement of subspecialists to provide comprehensive care for these complex patients.
- CNS infection