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Condition/Disorder Synonyms

  • Leptomeningitis

  • Bacterial meningitis

  • Cryptococcal meningitis

  • Hemophilus meningitis

ICD-9-CM Codes

  • 320 Bacterial meningitis

  • 320.0 Hemophilus meningitis

  • 320.1 Pneumococcal meningitis

  • 320.2 Streptococcal meningitis

  • 320.3 Staphylococcal meningitis

  • 320.7 Meningitis in other bacterial diseases classified elsewhere

  • 320.89 Meningitis due to other specified bacteria

  • 321 Meningitis due to other organisms

  • 321.0 Cryptococcal meningitis

ICD-10-CM Codes

  • B45.1 Cerebral cryptococcosis

  • G00.0 Hemophilus meningitis

  • G00.1 Pneumococcal meningitis

  • G00.2 Streptococcal meningitis

  • G00.3 Staphylococcal meningitis

  • G00.8 Other bacterial meningitis

  • G00.9 Bacterial meningitis, unspecified

  • G01 Meningitis in other bacterial diseases classified elsewhere

Preferred Practice Patterns1

Key Features


  • Infection of the meninges of the brain and spinal cord caused by a microorganism

  • Severity and extent of the infection causes a wide range of neurologic signs and symptoms, generally non-focal in nature

Essentials of Diagnosis

  • Headache and neck stiffness are common with all infections of the central nervous system

  • No physical test distinguishes a bacterial from a viral infection; must rely on body fluid cultures

  • If a central nervous system infection is suspected, the therapist should seek information regarding a potential source of infection or a condition that pre-disposed the patient to infection

General Considerations

  • Hemophilus meningitis is caused by the haemophilus influenza bacteria

    • Most common form of meningitis

    • Acquired following an upper respiratory infection

  • Bacterial meningitis is caused by a wide range of bacteria

    • Onset of symptoms is very rapid and considered a medical emergency

  • Cryptococcal meningitis is caused by the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans

    • Found in soil around the world

    • Onset is slower than bacterial meningitis


  • Commonly nosocomial or iatrogenic

  • Most common worldwide forms of meningitis include: pneumococcal, influenza, and meningococcal

  • Other bacteria cause meningitis, but may be less common in some parts of the world than others.

  • Approximately 3/100,000 in the United States; 500/100,000 in Africa

Clinical Findings

Signs and Symptoms

  • Headache, stiff neck

  • Change in mental status (confusion, delirium)

  • Fever or hypothermia

  • Malaise

  • Impaired heart, lung, liver, kidney function

  • Seizure, generalized convulsions

  • Sensory deficit/change

  • Motor deficit/change

  • With increased intracranial pressure, papilledema may develop

  • With prolonged infection, cranial nerves may become effected

Functional Implications

  • Loss of mobility temporarily with permanent loss possible

  • Loss of ...

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