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Title: Iatrogenic meningitis after lumbar puncture - a preventable health hazard
Authors: Pandian, JD
Sarada, C
Radhakrishnan, VV
Kishore, A
Keywords: Infectious Diseases
Issue Date: 2004
Citation: 56 ,2;119-124
Abstract: Iatrogenic meningitis (IM) is a rare complication of diagnostic and therapeutic lumbar puncture (LP). This study includes cases of IM managed in the Departments of Neurology, of two referral hospitals, in India between January 1984 and April 2002. The diagnosis of IM was made when symptoms of meningitis occurred 24 h to 21 days after LP. All the procedures were performed in the peripheral hospitals before they were referred to the two centres. There were 17 (63%) women and 10 (37%) men. The age range was 19-50 years with a mean age of 31. The precipitating event was spinal anaesthesia for pelvic and intra-abdominal surgeries (Caesarean section 11 cases, hysterectomy three cases, herniorraphy two cases, appendicectomy two cases, anal fissurectomy one case, varicocelectomy one case and hydrocelectomy one case) laminectomy in two and diagnostic myelogram in four patients. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture was positive in six (22%) patients. The organisms were Pseudomonas aeruginosa in one case, Staphylococcus aureus in three cases, Acinetobacter spp. in one case and Mycobacterium tuberculosis in one case. In five individuals, mycotic aneurysms with subarachnoid haemorrhage due to invasive aspergillosis was documented at autopsy. The mean follow-up was 10.6 months (range 1-18). Seventeen (63%) patients received conventional antibiotics alone, while 10 patients received antibiotics and anti-tuberculous drugs when the meningitis became chronic. The mortality was 36%. The poor prognostic factors were women who underwent Caesarean section (P < 0.04), presence of hemiplegia (P < 0.04) and altered mental status (P < 0.0004). This study shows high morbidity and mortality of IM after LP. Simple aseptic precautions undertaken before the procedure can prevent IM. The urgent need for increasing the awareness among medical personnel in peripheral hospitals of developing countries cannot be over emphasized. (C) 2003 The Hospital Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
URI: 10.1016/j.jhin.2003.09.023
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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