Bacterial Meningitis Imaging

Topics: Meningitis

Ann’s symptoms that would be of concern to a doctor would be her stiff neck and her 102-degree fever. A severe stiff neck could result in a multitude of very serious conditions such as brain tumors, tumors in the cervical spine, meningitis, or cervical dystonia. There are also other different conditions that a fever could indicate such as a virus, a typical cold, the flu, infections in the throat, ears, kidneys, bladder, or lungs, and autoimmune disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, blood clots, or several types of cancers.

Ann’s confusion is also a very concerning symptom because it can be a result of many dangerous conditions. Confusion can be caused by concussions, low blood sugar, low oxygen levels, stroke, seizures, or even low body temperature. Dehydration and urinary tract infections also may be why someone is confused or forgetful. Dehydration should be taken seriously because it could cause a person to pass out.  With the progression of Ann’s symptoms, I believe that I can rule out migraine and diagnose her with meningitis.

Meningitis occurs when the membranes that are around the brain or spinal cord become inflamed. The most common type is usually contracted by a viral infection but there are many other causes such as bacterial, fungal, or parasitic. Many people confuse the symptoms of meningitis with those of the flu, but I would recommend someone to get checked out by a doctor if meningitis could be possible, especially for children. Children and the elderly have weaker immune systems than the average adolescent or adult, so it is very important to pay close attention to any concerning symptoms.

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In certain cases where meningitis is more serious, hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics may be necessary. The three causes of meningitis are viral, bacterial, and fungal. Viral meningitis is the least severe type, although it occurs most commonly.

There is usually no persistent harm to a person’s health although it might take a long period to recover. Viral meningitis can be a result of shared respiratory droplets between two people. This can occur when two people drink out of the same container or kiss. It also can happen when someone coughs or sneezes on another person. Bacterial meningitis can be deadly and develops at a fast rate, usually within hours. This type is commonly caused by, bacteria, including meningococcus, pneumococcus, and Hemophilus influenza type B. Blood poisoning can lead to the infection entering someone’s bloodstream, which could be potentially fatal. Meningitis is commonly found in people’s noses or throats, but it isn’t harmful to the body. It simply helps to build up someone’s immune system. There is a vaccination that is available to protect the body from contracting bacterial meningitis. This type is caused by fungal spores spreading that come from the environment. It is more easily contracted by people who have a weaker immune system than usual such as people with AIDs. This type of meningitis is noncontagious and as of right now, there is no vaccination available to prevent it. To diagnose meningitis, a doctor will first do a physical exam focusing on the eyes, nose, and throat. If after this examination they suspect meningitis, they will order blood cultures, imaging, and a spinal tap. Blood cultures occur when they draw someone’s blood and put it in a dish to see if bacteria are growing. They also will look at their blood under a microscope to determine if bacteria are present.

Imaging such as an MRI or a head CT will show if any section of the body is inflamed. X-rays or CTs of the chest are used to see if the infection is present in a person’s sinus cavity which can indicate meningitis. A spinal tap occurs when a doctor collects the same cerebrospinal fluid to run tests on it. If someone’s cerebrospinal fluid shows a low glucose level, a higher level of protein, or increased white blood cell count, meningitis is almost always present in the body. The increased white blood cell count can happen when the body is attempting to fight off infection since that is the function of these cells. The doctor may also be able to identify which bacterium caused meningitis which may aid in determining an individualized treatment to most benefit the patient.

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Bacterial Meningitis Imaging. (2022, Aug 08). Retrieved from

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