What are the categories of infections of the central nervous system (CNS)?

Updated: Jul 16, 2019
  • Author: Rodrigo Hasbun, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Infections of the central nervous system (CNS) can be divided into 2 broad categories: those primarily involving the meninges (meningitis; see the image below) and those primarily confined to the parenchyma (encephalitis).

Pneumococcal meningitis in a patient with alcoholi Pneumococcal meningitis in a patient with alcoholism. Courtesy of the CDC/Dr. Edwin P. Ewing, Jr.

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