Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Infections of central nervous system are still a major problem. Despite the introduction of newer antimicrobial agents, mortality and long-term sequelace associated with these infections is unacceptably high. Based on the evidence that proinflammtory cytokines have a role in pathophysiology of bacterial and tuberculous meningitis, corticosteroids with a potent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effect have been tested and found to be of use in experimental and clinical studies, Review of the available literature suggests steroid administration just prior to antimicrobial therapy is effective in decreasing audiologic and neurologic sequelae in childern with H. influenzae nenigitis. Steroid use for bacterial meningitis in adults is found to be beneficial in case of S. pneumoniae. The value of adjunctive steroid therapy for other bacterial causes of meningitis remains unproven. Corticocorticoids are found to be of no benefit in viral meningitis, Role of steroids in HIV positive patients needs to be studied.