Community-Acquired Purulent Meningitis of Unknown Etiology: A Continuing Problem

P. Jan Geiseler, Kenrad Edwin Nelson, Stuart Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The clinical features and hospital course of 132 patients with purulent meningitis of unknown etiology (PMU) were compared with those of 1,032 patients with proven bacterial meningitis; all patients were admitted to a major referral center for meningitis treatment between 1954 and 1976. Most patients had no major underlying illnesses. Patients with PMU were more frequently older, “pretreated” with antibiotics, had longer duration of symptoms, evidenced less marked alterations of mental status, and died later in the hospitalization; however, the mortality and frequency of neurologic complications were similar to those in patients with bacterial meningitis. Patients with PMU who also had hemorrhagic rashes had fewer neurologic complications and none died; these patients comprised a distinct group in terms of better prognosis. New methods for rapid diagnosis of bacterial meningitis have only partially resolved the diagnostic dilemma of PMU.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)749-753
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Neurology
Volume38
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

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Meningitis
Bacterial Meningitides
Nervous System
Etiology
Exanthema
Hospitalization
Referral and Consultation
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Community-Acquired Purulent Meningitis of Unknown Etiology : A Continuing Problem. / Geiseler, P. Jan; Nelson, Kenrad Edwin; Levin, Stuart.

In: Archives of Neurology, Vol. 38, No. 12, 1981, p. 749-753.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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