<h4>Purpose of review</h4>Patients with infectious diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) commonly require treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU). In a subset of patients with a life-threatening course, a more aggressive and invasive management is required. Treatment relies on the expertise of the intensivists as most recommendations are currently not based on a high level of evidence.<h4>Recent findings</h4>Published data suggest that an invasive brain-focused management should be considered in life-threatening CNS infections. Brain resuscitation by adequate control of intracranial pressure (ICP) and optimization of cerebral perfusion, oxygen and glucose delivery supports the idea of personalized medicine. Recent advances in monitoring techniques help to guide clinicians to improve neurocritical care management in these patients with severe disease. Robust data on the long-term effect of decompressive craniectomy and targeted temperature management are lacking, however, these interventions can be life-saving in individual patients in the setting of a potentially fatal situation such as refractory elevated ICP.<h4>Summary</h4>Advances in the neurocritical care management and progress in monitoring techniques in specialized neuro-ICUs may help to preserve brain function and prevent a deleterious cascade of secondary brain damage in life-threatening CNS infections.
Curr Opin Neurol (Current opinion in neurology)
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