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Am J Emerg Med. 2007 Feb;25(2):179-84.

Accuracy of the cerebrospinal fluid results to differentiate bacterial from non bacterial meningitis, in case of negative gram-stained smear.

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1
Department of Emergency Medicine and Surgery, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire (CHU) Pitié-Salpêtrière, Assistance-Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6, Paris, France. patrick.ray@psl.ap-hop-paris.fr

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of various laboratory results for differential diagnosis of bacterial (BM) and nonbacterial meningitis (NBM) with negative initial Gram stain.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

A prospective multicenter study was conducted in the emergency departments of 3 teaching hospitals.

PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS:

Consecutive adult patients with a diagnosis of meningitis based on compatible clinical features and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture findings with a CSF leukocyte count greater than 5/mm(3) were included in the study. Symptoms, examination findings, data from laboratory results, including CSF results and serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, and clinical outcome were assessed.

RESULTS:

One hundred fifty-one patients (age, 35 +/- 15 years) with confirmed meningitis were admitted: 133 with NBM and 18 with BM. CRP and procalcitonin (PCT) levels, CSF white cell and absolute neutrophil counts, and CSF glucose/blood glucose and CSF protein levels were significantly higher in the BM group. However, as diagnostic indicators of BM, none of these variables except PCT was more efficient than that of the emergency physician. Values of the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve were 0.59 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.21-0.82), 0.79 (95% CI, 0.47-0.92), 0.18 (95% CI, 0.0-0.43), 0.70 (95%CI, 0.30-0.89), 0.81 (95% CI, 0.58-0.92), and 0.98 (95% CI, 0.83-1.0) for CSF leukocyte count, percentage of CSF leukocyte, CSF/blood glucose ratio, CSF protein level, serum CRP, and serum PCT (P < .05 vs CRP), respectively.

CONCLUSION:

CSF results have a modest role in distinguishing BM from NBM in a negative Gram stain for bacteria. PCT serum levels seem to be an excellent predictor of BM.

PMID:
17276808
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajem.2006.07.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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