What causes cranial nerve deficits in Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) meningitis?

Updated: Jul 09, 2018
  • Author: Prateek Lohia, MD, MHA; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Answer

Cranial neuropathies other then the eighth cranial nerve may occur. The involvement of cranial nerves other than the eighth is found in approximately 6% of children who have had Hib meningitis. Nerves most commonly involved are the facial, abducens, and oculomotor, but any of the nerves may be involved.

The mechanisms for these forms of injury include the inflammatory investment of the nerve within the nerve sheath near the brainstem (ie, due to the basilar meningitic inflammatory process), or they may be injured by compression due to elevation in intracranial pressure.


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