What causes meningitis?

Updated: Jul 16, 2019
  • Author: Rodrigo Hasbun, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Meningitis can also be divided into the following 3 general categories:

  • Bacterial (pyogenic)

  • Granulomatous

  • Aseptic

The most common cause of meningeal inflammation is bacterial or viral infection. The organisms usually enter the meninges through the bloodstream from other parts of the body. Most cases of bacterial meningitis are localized over the dorsum of the brain; however, under certain conditions, meningitis may be concentrated at the base of the brain, as with fungal diseases and tuberculosis. (See Etiology.)


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