When is head CT scanning indicated in the workup of sepsis/septic shock?

Updated: Oct 07, 2020
  • Author: Andre Kalil, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Answer

If there is evidence of increased intracranial pressure (eg, papilledema) or focal mass lesions (focal defects, preceding sinusitis or otitis, or recent intracranial surgery), antibiotic therapy should be initiated, and a head CT scan should be obtained. Antibiotics will not begin to affect CSF cultures for at least several hours; therefore, proper antibiotic administration should not be delayed by the procedure if there is a high suspicion for meningitis.


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