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Diagnosis and Treatment of Meningitis

  • Elizabeth W. KellyEmail author
  • Michael T. Fitch
Chapter

Abstract

Meningitis is an inflammatory process of the membranes and fluids that surround the brain and spinal cord, including the arachnoid, pia mater and surrounding cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). From its recognition in the early 1800s to the beginning of the twentieth century, bacterial meningitis was nearly 100% fatal [1]. Although antibiotics have made the disease curable [2, 3], morbidity and mortality remain high throughout the world, even with appropriate treatment [1, 4]. Meningitis can occur in healthy individuals and can strike at any age. However, patients at the extremes of age (young children and the elderly) and those who are immunosuppressed are at increased risk [5]. Infants who survive Gram-negative bacterial meningitis have a high rate of developmental and neurological sequelae [6]. The overall case fatality rate of bacterial meningitis in adult patients is 13–27% [4, 7–14].

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Emergency MedicineWake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA

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