Table 2

Clinical and microbiological details of 52 children with suspected CNS infection and 43 with meningococccal septicaemia

Initial Clinical Impression

LP Performed

LP Not performed

No. of patients

CSF findings and microbiology results

No. of patients

Microbiology results

Suspected meningoencephalitis, no rash


Pleocytosis, N. meningitidis in CSF [2]*


N. meningitidis in BC & PCR [1]

Pleocytosis, N. meningitidis in BC [1]

N. meningitidis by PCR [1]

Pleocytosis, E. coli in CSF [1]

Pleocytosis, cultures negative [2]

Suspected meningitis with meningococcal rash


Pleocytosis, cultures negative [1]


N. meningitidis in BC (6, including 4 PCR +)

N. meningitidis by PCR [2]

H. Influenzae in endotracheal aspirate [1]

Septic screen in infants <6 months old


CSF normal


E. coli in BC [1]

Meningococcal septicaemia (LP Contraindicated)



N. meningitidis in BC (7, including 5 PCR +)

N. meningitidis by PCR [10]

N. meningitidis by antigen test only [3]

* Numbers of patients in brackets # 5 patients had contraindications to LP, (all were shocked, and 2 had deep come): 2 with BC, and 1 with PCR positive for N meningitidis BC = blood cultures, CSF = cerebrospinal fluid, WBC = white blood cells PCR was only performed on blood

Kneen et al. BMC Pediatrics 2002 2:8   doi:10.1186/1471-2431-2-8

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