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Jpn J Antibiot. 2013 Aug;66(4):205-10.

Complications of adenotonsillectomy: a case report of meningitis due to dual infection with nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae, and a prospective study of the rate of postoperative bacteremia.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Chiba Kaihin Municipal Hospital.
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology, Chiba Kaihin Municipal Hospital.
  • 3Department of Infection Prevention and Control, Yokohama City University Hospital.
  • 4Division of Control and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, Chiba University Hospital.
  • 5Department of Pediatrics, Chiba University School of Medicine.



Bacterial meningitis is a rare complication of adenotonsillectomy. We present a case of meningitis due to nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae after adenotonsillectomy. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns indicated that the oral cavity was the source of H. influenzae and S. pneumoniae isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid. BLOOD CULTURE STUDY: As bacteremia is thought to be one of the etiologies of meningitis, we prospectively investigated the rate of bacteremia as a complication of adenotonsillectomy. Of the 46 patients included in the study, mean age of five years old, 11 (24%) had positive blood cultures during the operation. H. influenzae was the commonest organism grown (seven cultures), three of seven produced beta-lactamase, followed by S. pneumoniae (one culture), H. parainfluenzae (one culture), Peptostreptococcus micros (one culture), and Veillonella spp. (one culture). The bacteria were composed of tonsil or adenoid surface cultures in eight of 11 patients (73%).


We present a rare case of meningitis complicating a adenotonsillectomy procedure, in a three years old boy. Meningitis is a rare complication of adenotonsillectomy, but bacteremia which may lead to meningitis occurs frequently, as the results.

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