How is a diagnosis of meningococcal meningitis confirmed?

Updated: Jul 16, 2018
  • Author: Francisco de Assis Aquino Gondim, MD, PhD, MSc, FAAN; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Answer

Laboratory examination of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) usually confirms the presence of meningitis. Typical CSF abnormalities in meningitis include the following:

  • Increased opening pressure (>180 mm water)

  • Pleocytosis of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (white blood cell [WBC] counts between 10 and 10,000 cells/µL, predominantly neutrophils)

  • Decreased glucose concentration (< 45 mg/dL)

  • Increased protein concentration (>45 mg/dL)


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