Although the overall incidence of pediatric bacterial meningitis in the United States has decreased, the prevalence of non–PCV-13 pneumococcal serotypes and late-onset (6-90 days) and very-late-onset (> 90 days) group B Streptococcus meningitis has increased.
While the presence of the most widely recognized signs of bacterial meningitis—fever, bulging fontanel, meningismus, altered mental status, headache, and vomiting—significantly increases the likelihood of bacterial meningitis, a number of cases have been published in which these signs were absent.
Typically, patients with bacterial meningitis have an elevated CSF protein and a decreased CSF glucose-to-blood glucose ratio < 0.60.
The sensitivity of neck findings ranges from 45% to 95%. The sensitivity of assessing the range of motion in the sagittal plane may be enhanced by performing the test with the child sitting on the bed with legs outstretched rather than with the legs over the edge of the bed.
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Guedj R, Chappuy H, Titomanlio L, et al. Do all children who present with a complex febrile seizure need a lumbar puncture? Ann Emerg Med. 2017;70(1):52-62 e56. (Retrospective study; 7 pediatric EDs, 839 patients with complex febrile seizure) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.annemergmed.2016.11.024
Thomson J, Cruz AT, Nigrovic LE, et al. Concomitant bacterial meningitis in infants with urinary tract infection. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2017;36(9):908-910. (Retrospective study; 1737 infants) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/INF.0000000000001626
Ogunlesi TA, Odigwe CC, Oladapo OT. Adjuvant corticosteroids for reducing death in neonatal bacterial meningitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015(11):CD010435. (Cochrane review; 2 trials, 132 participants) DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD010435.pub2