Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Streptococcal Meningitis Evaluation

The evaluation of someone who may have bacterial meningitis begins with a history and physical examination.

Physical findings in those with bacterial meningitis may include:

  • Brudzinski sign:
    • Bending of the neck causes the hips and knees to bend
  • Confusion
  • Lethargy:
  • Fever
  • Kernig sign:
    • Extending the knees with the hips flexed causes pain and muscle spasms
  • Papilledema:
    • Increased pressure in the eyes
  • Meningococcal rash:
    • Meningococcal infection may cause a rash that looks like broken blood vessels.

Testing is necessary to confirm the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis.

Tests for bacterial meningitis may include:

Continue to Streptococcal Meningitis Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 1, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Streptococcal Meningitis References
  1. Chavez-Bueno S, McCracken GH Jr. Bacterial meningitis in children. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2005 Jun;52(3):795-810, vii. [1592566]
  2. Kaplan SL: Clinical presentations, diagnosis, and prognostic factors of bacterial meningitis. Infect Dis Clin North Am 1999 Sep; 13(3): 579-94, vi-vii. [10470556]
  3. Pfister HW, Feiden W, Einhaupl KM: Spectrum of complications during bacterial meningitis in adults. Results of a prospective clinical study. Arch Neurol 1993 Jun; 50(6): 575-81. [8503793]
  4. Sigurdardottir B, Bjornsson OM, Jonsdottir KE, et al: Acute bacterial meningitis in adults. A 20-year overview. Arch Intern Med 1997 Feb 24; 157(4): 425-30. [9046894]
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