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Meningitis With a Negative Cerebrospinal Fluid Gram Stain in Adults: Risk Classification for an Adverse Clinical Outcome

      Abstract

      Objective

      To derive and validate a risk score for an adverse clinical outcome in adults with meningitis and a negative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Gram stain.

      Patients and Methods

      We conducted a retrospective study of 567 adults from Houston, Texas, with meningitis evaluated between January 1, 2005, and January 1, 2010. The patients were divided into derivation (N=292) and validation (N=275) cohorts. An adverse clinical outcome was defined as a Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 4 or less.

      Results

      Of the 567 patients, 62 (11%) had an adverse clinical outcome. A predictive model was created using 3 baseline variables that were independently associated with an adverse clinical outcome (P<.05): age greater than 60 years, abnormal findings on neurologic examination (altered mental status, focal neurologic deficits, or seizures), and CSF glucose level of less than 2.4975 mmol/L (to convert CSF glucose to mmol/L, multiply by 0.05551). The model classified patients into 2 categories of risk for an adverse clinical outcome—derivation sample: low risk, 0.6% and high risk, 32.8%; P<.001; and validation sample: low risk, 0.5% and high risk, 21.1%; P<.001.

      Conclusion

      Adults with meningitis and a negative CSF Gram stain can be accurately stratified for the risk of an adverse clinical outcome using clinical variables available at presentation.

      Abbreviations and Acronyms:

      ACO (adverse clinical outcome), CMV (cytomegalovirus), CSF (cerebrospinal fluid), ED (emergency department), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), VZV (varicella zoster virus)
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      Linked Article

      • Prognostic Risk Score for Pleocytosis With a Negative Gram Stain: Valid but of Limited Utility in Bacterial Meningitis Patients
        Mayo Clinic ProceedingsVol. 88Issue 4
        • Preview
          Meningitis with a negative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Gram stain has an extensive differential diagnosis including both benign and life-threatening etiologies. Reliable prognostic risk stratification at presentation could aid physicians in management decisions and patient counseling in the emergency department. In the December 2012 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Khoury et al1 reported on the derivation and validation of a risk score for an adverse clinical outcome in this patient group. Patients were classified as low risk if they had normal neurologic examination findings, had a CSF glucose level of 45 mg/dL or higher, and were 60 years old or younger.
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