meningitis%20-%20acute,%20bacterial%20(pediatric)
MENINGITIS - ACUTE, BACTERIAL (PEDIATRIC)
Acute meningitis is the bacterial infection of the subarachnoid space and cerebrospinal fluid that may cause local and systemic inflammatory response.
Common symptoms in newborns are lethargy, fever, seizures, irritability and bulging fontanelle. While in children the common symptoms are fever, nuchal rigidity (incidence increases with age) and altered consciousness.
Meningeal signs are stiff neck, Kernig's or Brudzinski's signs) are not reliably present in infants <6 months of age.
It may also observe the presence of persistent vomiting, changes in behavior or other psychological/neurologic signs.

Definition

  • Bacterial infection of the meninges & subarachnoid space

Etiology

Other causes of acute meningitis include the following:

  • Spirochetes (eg Treponema pallidum)
  • Mycobacteria (eg Mycobacterium tuberculosis)
  • Fungi (eg Cryptococcus, Coccidioides, Sporothrix)
  • Viruses [eg herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella zoster, cytomegalovirus (CMV)]
  • Protozoa & helminths

Signs and Symptoms

  • Symptoms are variable in children, especially in the early stage of the illness
  • Common symptoms may be observed according to age group
    • Newborns: Lethargy, fever, seizures, irritability, bulging fontanelle, poor feeding
    • Children: Fever, nuchal rigidity (incidence increases w/ age), altered consciousness, seizures
  • Meningeal signs (stiff neck, Kernig’s or Brudzinski’s sign) are not reliably present in infants <6 months of age
  • May also observe persistent vomiting, changes in behavior or other psychological/neurologic signs
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