Bacterial meningitis.

Link to article at PubMed

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Bacterial meningitis.

Handb Clin Neurol. 2014;121:1361-75

Authors: Heckenberg SG, Brouwer MC, van de Beek D

Bacterial meningitis is a neurologic emergency. Vaccination against common pathogens has decreased the burden of disease. Early diagnosis and rapid initiation of empiric antimicrobial and adjunctive therapy are vital. Therapy should be initiated as soon as blood cultures have been obtained, preceding any imaging studies. Clinical signs suggestive of bacterial meningitis include fever, headache, meningismus, and an altered level of consciousness but signs may be scarce in children, in the elderly, and in meningococcal disease. Host genetic factors are major determinants of susceptibility to meningococcal and pneumococcal disease. Dexamethasone therapy has been implemented as adjunctive treatment of adults with pneumococcal meningitis. Adequate and prompt treatment of bacterial meningitis is critical to outcome. In this chapter we review the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and management of bacterial meningitis.

PMID: 24365425 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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