Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 483-488

Clinical and laboratory aspects of adults and children admitted with meningococcal meningitis to a tertiary hospital in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Federal University of Ceará; School of Medicine, Health Sciences Center, University of Fortaleza, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Elizabeth F Daher
Rua Vicente Linhares, n° 1198., CEP 60135-270. - Fortaleza, CE
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.105139

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Background: Meningococcal meningitis (MM) persists in developing countries in forms of outbreaks, epidemics or sporadic cases, resulting in considerable morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical and laboratory aspects of adults and children with MM. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study with 291 patients diagnosed with MM, hospitalized in a tertiary hospital in Fortaleza, Northeast of Brazil, between 1999 and 2009. We analyzed epidemiological, clinical and laboratory findings. Results: The mean age of patients was 13.7 ± 12.8 years, ranging from newborn to 71 years, 59% were 12 or less, mostly male (57.3%). Average time between symptom onset and hospitalization was 2.21 ± 2.62 days. There was associated meningococcemia at 22.3% of cases. The most common manifestations were fever (92.7%), vomiting (80.4%), headache (68.7%), neck stiffness (64.9%) and petechiae (31.9%). Laboratory tests showed an average Hb 11.1 ± 1.7 g/dL, WBC 17.94 ± 17.29 x 10΃/mm΃, platelets 20.58 ± 11.53 x 103/mm3. Sodium (134.66 ± 14.89 mEq/l), potassium (4.2315 ± 3.8805 mEq/l), urea (35.66 ± 35.96 mg/dl), creatinine (0.77 ± 0.77 mg/dl), AST (48.81 ± 62.73 units/L), and ALT (37.93 ± 36.78 units/L) were other laboratory parameters. There was record of 25 deaths (8.5%). Conclusion: Most were children below 12 years, suggesting the vulnerability of this age group for MM. There was no statistical difference between adults and children with regard to laboratorial parameters, but the data show numbers that can represent a laboratory profile of the disease.

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