Community-Acquired Meningitis in Older Adults: Clinical Features, Etiology, and Prognostic Factors.

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Community-Acquired Meningitis in Older Adults: Clinical Features, Etiology, and Prognostic Factors.

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 Nov 4;

Authors: Wang AY, Machicado JD, Khoury NT, Wootton SH, Salazar L, Hasbun R

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the epidemiology and outcomes of community-acquired meningitis in older adults.
DESIGN: Retrospective study.
SETTING: Participants adults in Houston, Texas, with community-acquired meningitis hospitalized between January 1, 2005, and January 1, 2010 (N = 619; n = 54, 8.7%, aged ≥65; n = 565 aged <65).
METHODS: An adverse clinical outcome was defined as a Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 4 or less.
RESULTS: Older adults had higher rates of comorbidities, abnormal neurological and laboratory (serum white blood cell count >12,000/μL, and cerebrospinal fluid protein >100 mg/dL) findings (P < .001), abnormalities on computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the head (P = .002), and adverse clinical outcomes (ACOs) (P < .001). The majority of participants (65.8%) had meningitis of unknown etiology. Bacterial meningitis was an infrequent cause of community-acquired meningitis (7.4%). Of the known causes, bacterial meningitis and West Nile virus were more common in older than younger adults; younger participants more frequently had cryptococcal and viral meningitis. On logistic regression, female sex was predictive of a poor outcome in the older participants (P = .002), whereas abnormal neurological examination (P < .001), fever (P = .01), and a cerebrospinal fluid glucose level less than 45 mg/dL (P = .002) were significant poor prognostic factors in younger participants.
CONCLUSION: Most cases of community-acquired meningitis are of unknown origin. Older adults are more likely than younger adults to have bacterial meningitis and West Nile virus infection when a cause can be identified. They also have more neurological abnormalities, laboratory and imaging abnormalities, and adverse clinical outcomes.

PMID: 25370434 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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