Validation of the bacterial meningitis score in adults presenting to the ED with meningitis.
Am J Emerg Med. 2016 Jul;34(7):1265-7
Authors: McArthur R, Edlow JA, Nigrovic LE
OBJECTIVES: The Bacterial Meningitis Score classifies children with meningitis and none of the following high-risk predictors at very low risk for bacterial meningitis: positive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Gram stain, CSF protein ≥80mg/dL, CSF absolute neutrophil count (ANC) ≥1000 cells/mm(3), peripheral ANC ≥10,000 cells/mm(3), and seizure at or prior to presentation. Although extensively validated in children, the Bacterial Meningitis Score has not been rigorously evaluated in adults.
METHODS: We performed a single-center cross-sectional retrospective study of adults presenting to the emergency department between 2003 and 2013 with meningitis (defined by CSF white blood cell count ≥10 cells/mm(3)). We defined a case of bacterial meningitis with either a positive CSF or blood culture. We report the performance of the Bacterial Meningitis Score in the study population.
RESULTS: We identified 441 eligible patients of which, 4 (1%) had bacterial meningitis. The Bacterial Meningitis Score had a sensitivity of 100% [95% confidence interval (CI) 40%-100%], specificity 51% (95% CI, 46%-56%) and negative predictive value of 100% (95% CI, 98%-100%). None of the low risk adults had bacterial meningitis. If Bacterial Meningitis Score had been applied prospectively, the hospital admission rate would have dropped from 84% to 49% without missing any patients with bacterial meningitis.
CONCLUSIONS: The Bacterial Meningitis Score accurately identified patients at low risk for bacterial meningitis and could assist clinical decision-making for adults with meningitis.
PMID: 27139257 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]