Indexed on: 08 Nov '17Published on: 08 Nov '17Published in: Handbook of clinical neurology
Infections of the nervous system are an important and challenging aspect of clinical neurology. Immediate correct diagnosis enables to introduce effective therapy, in conditions that without diagnosis may leave the patient with severe neurological incapacitation and sometimes even death. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a mirror that reflects nervous system pathology and can promote early diagnosis and therapy. The present chapter focuses on the CSF findings in neuro-infections, mainly viral and bacterial. Opening pressure, protein and glucose levels, presence of cells and type of the cellular reaction should be monitored. Other tests can also shed light on the causative agent: serology, culture, staining, molecular techniques such as polymerase chain reaction. Specific examination such as panbacterial and panfungal examinations should be examined when relevant. Our chapter is a guide-text that combines clinical presentation and course with CSF findings as a usuaful tool in diagnosis of neuroinfections.