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  • Leptomeningitis
  • Bacterial meningitis
  • Cryptococcal meningitis
  • Hemophilus meningitis

  • 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

  • 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


  • 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

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 hearing/vestibular function in some cases
  • Temporary loss of coordination, fine and gross motor skills; permanent loss possible.
  • Loss of independence with activities of daily living
  • Reduced cognitive function, particularly executive functions

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