Meningitis is called inflammation of the shells of the brain and spinal cord. The causative agent of meningitis may be bacteria, viruses, mushrooms, protozoa and intracellular parasites.
As a rule, meningitis begins acutely - with the rise of temperature, muscle pain, weakness and other signs of intoxication.
As the progression of the process in a person develops a severe headache poured character (groaning grown up, children screaming), which increases when the body changes, with loud sounds and bright light. To headache, nausea and vomiting are added, which does not bring relief.
Clinical manifestations of meningitis
These symptoms are accompanied by a number of clinical manifestations of meningitis, which are characteristic of certain pathogens of the disease.
- If inflammation is caused by meningococcus, then a characteristic rash in the form of asterisks of various shapes and sizes, located mainly on the lower extremities and the trunk, can be joined. A similar rash can occur if the disease is caused by a hemophilic sticks, a staphylococcus, a listeria and a number of other pathogens.
- Pneumococcal meningitis is characterized by a concomitant pneumonia (25-50%). Pneumococcus often gives complications in the form of oppression of consciousness and focal neurological symptoms. Occurs hard, more common in people over 30 years old.
- Purulent meningitis requires the presence of an infection center, in which the role of either the contact process (otitis, mastoiditis, sinusitis) or a serious infectious pathology of the internal organs.
A day after the onset of the disease in adults there is an irritation, confusion of consciousness, in children - lethargy and apathy. As a result of compression of the substance of the brain, development of focal neurological symptoms in the form of paresis, paralysis, speech impairment, etc. can be developed. Often, the acute nerves are affected, which manifests itself as a violation of the movement of the eyes, but changes, as a rule, are reversible.
Other symptoms of squeezing the substance of the brain may include hearing impairment, epileptic seizures, arterial hypertension and bradycardia. With the contraction of the vessels of the brain, stroke may develop. In infants you can see a strong explosive source and stop its pulsation, which suggests an increase in intracranial pressure.
A group of symptoms of meningitis
There is a group of meningetic meningeal symptoms, commonly called "meningeal syndrome":
- Rigidity of the occipital muscles - with this symptom the doctor can not bend the head of a sick person;
- The symptom of Keringa is characterized by the impossibility of unbending the leg in the knee joint when it is bent at right angles;
- The upper symptom of Brudzinsky - when checking for rigidity of the occipital muscles involuntary bending and tightening of the legs to the abdomen;
- The average symptom of Brudzinsky - when pressure on the pubic area occurs involuntary bending and tightening of the legs;
- The lower symptom of Brudzinsky - the leg flexion described above occurs when checking the symptom of Keringa on the other leg.
For newborns and infants there is a special method of checking, which is called the symptom of Lisage. The child rises under the armpit, and if the symptom is positive, then it is pulling the legs to the abdomen and throwing the head.
Meningeal symptoms may be absent or significantly flattened in children and the elderly, but in most cases, their testing is possible even in the soporous state. Signs of meningitis in adults may be absent or have no specific manifestations in alcohol and immune deficiency conditions.
Diagnosis of meningitis
The diagnosis of "meningitis" is based on the results of lumbar puncture (taking a cerebrospinal fluid for analysis), with the impossibility of its conduct - on the basis of bacteriological analysis of blood and skin rashes.