Central Nervous System Infections in Neutropenic Cancer Patients

  • Shylah M. Moore-Pardo
  • Olga Klinkova


Neutropenic cancer patients are more susceptible to central nervous system (CNS) infections due to impaired host defense mechanisms (Zunt, Neurol Clin 20(1):1–22, 2002). Clinical diagnosis can be challenging due to subtle or atypical presentation or symptoms (Zunt, Neurol Clin 20:1–22, 2002; Lukes et al. Neurology 34(3):269–275, 1984; Schmidt-Hieber et al. Ann Oncol 27(7):1207–1225, 2016). CNS infections typically manifest as four clinical syndromes that may overlap. These are meningitis, encephalitis, brain abscess, and post-surgical neurological infections (Schmidt-Hieber et al. Ann Oncol 27(7):1207–1225, 2016).

Risk factors for CNS infections in this patient population depend on age, type of malignancy, duration of neutropenia, treatment used (type of a transplant, chemotherapy, steroids, immunosuppressant agents, neurosurgical interventions), and environmental exposures.


Central nervous infections Bacterial meningitis Viral meningitis Non infectious meningitis Enterovirus meningitis HSV encephalitis VZV meningitis HHV6 encephalitis JC progressive leukoencephalopathy (PML) Candida meningitis Rhomboencephalitis Brain abscess 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shylah M. Moore-Pardo
    • 1
  • Olga Klinkova
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Moffitt Cancer CenterTampaUSA

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