Which patient groups are more likely to present with atypical symptoms of meningitis?

Updated: Jul 16, 2019
  • Author: Rodrigo Hasbun, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Atypical presentation may be observed in certain groups. Elderly individuals, especially those with underlying comorbidities (eg, diabetes, renal and liver disease), may present with lethargy and an absence of meningeal symptoms. Patients with neutropenia may present with subtle symptoms of meningeal irritation.

Other immunocompromised hosts, including organ and tissue transplant recipients and patients with HIV and AIDS, may also have an atypical presentation. Immunosuppressed patients may not show dramatic signs of fever or meningeal inflammation.

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