The development of the disease depends on the pathogen microbe and on the state of the human immune system. If you ignore the painful symptoms, pathology leads to irreversible consequences.
Purulent meningitis is a disease of a bacterial nature, in which the lining of the brain is inflamed. The main cause of purulent meningitis is the penetration of the causative agent of the disease – Neisseria meningitidis – meningococcal infection. Depending on the method of penetration of microbes, primary and secondary meningitis is isolated.
During primary meningitis, pathogens enter the body upon contact with an infected person. Microorganisms penetrate into the meninges through the nasopharynx. Direct infection can occur with craniocerebral injuries, non-observance of aseptic rules during operations.
Interesting! In one hundred carriers of meningococcal infection accounts for 1 sick person.
Secondary meningitis develops as a result of infection with staphylococcal, streptococcal infection, intestinal, hemophilus bacilli. Bacteria enter the brain through the paranasal sinuses, teeth affected by caries, inflamed ears. Microbes are able to penetrate the barriers to pneumonia, furunculosis, and stomach diseases.
Read also … Is meningitis contagious: ways of transmission and preventive measures
The penetration of pyogenic bacteria through the barrier contributes to the weakening of the immune defense, which occurs due to recurring colds, stress.
The disease is diagnosed in people of all ages, but children under 5 years of age are most susceptible to pathology. Purulent meningitis in young children usually develops against a background of reduced immune status.
Depending on the severity of the disease manifests itself in a light, moderate and severe form. Severe pathology is recorded with a sharp decrease in the immune status in people with no spleen.
By features of progression classified abortive, fulminant, recurrent and acute purulent meningitis. The latter type is diagnosed more often than others and is accompanied by characteristic symptoms. In the case of the lightning current, the brain rapidly swells, causing a disturbance of consciousness. An abortive species is characterized by the absence of characteristic symptoms, only signs of poisoning appear. Recurrent meningitis occurs when the late treatment of the acute form and in the presence of pyogenic infection.
Depending on the causative agent of the disease, meningococcal, pneumococcal and hemophilic meningitis are distinguished.
The meningococcal variety appears due to the effects of various meningococci. These pathogens provoke inflammation most often because they have a capsule that protects against the damaging effects of immunity. This property allows microbes to replicate unhindered, which leads to the formation of suppuration.
Pneumococci cause the pneumococcal form of the disease, which is rarely diagnosed. Manifested by the formation of pus and the intensive development of the center of inflammation.
Hemophilic wand most often affects babies under one year old. The bacterium has a toxic effect on the body, which contributes to the immediate development of the inflammatory process.
Symptoms of the disease
The disease is manifested by the development of meningeal syndrome, which is expressed in an infectious lesion of cerebrovascular fluid. The first signs of meningitis are similar to flu symptoms. But after a few hours the consciousness is disturbed, the muscles in the neck tighten, vomiting develops.
The incubation period lasts from 2 to 5 days. On the first day, purulent meningitis manifests itself as follows:
- a sharp increase in body temperature;
- increase in headache;
- mental disorders.
The most informative signs are shell signs: stiff muscles of the neck, a symptom of Brudzinsky and Kernig. They are manifested by the fact that the patient can not bow his head to his chest, and throws it back to relieve pain in the back of the head. The patient is also unable to straighten the lower limbs, the knee joints bend uncontrollably.
On the 3rd day of the progression of inflammation, the malfunction of the optic nerve occurs, which causes strabismus and visual impairment. Fixed hearing loss, hallucinations, impaired speech skills. Usually the disease is accompanied by a convulsive syndrome. Appear hemorrhagic rash on the skin.
The increase in symptoms indicates the progression of inflammation and its spread to the brain. As a result, vascular dysfunction caused by spasms of the brain capillaries appears. Developed meningoencephalitis, which causes paralysis, speech disorders.
To make a diagnosis, it is necessary to collect anamnesis: identify the source of infection, determine associated diseases, and learn about contact with the infected.
The most important study is the analysis of spinal fluid. With purulent meningitis, the cerebrospinal fluid will be cloudy, with a yellow or green shade. The color of the fluid indicates a specific pathogen. The results show an increase in cytosis, protein concentration.
In addition to the study of spinal material, the patient must undergo the following examinations:
- CBC for detection of leukocytosis;
- Analysis of urine;
- computed tomography;
- x-ray of the lungs, skull.
You will also need to consult with an infectious disease specialist, a neurologist.
Treatment of purulent meningitis is carried out in a medical institution. After emergency lumbar puncture, antibiotic therapy is prescribed. Ampicillin is usually used with cefotaxime. In case of severe disease, drugs are injected intravenously. To reduce swelling of the brain and eliminate hydrocephalus, Mannitol and Furosemide are used as dehydration agents.
Note! As a result of the research, it has been established that the incidence rates among young patients are 10 cases per 100 thousand children.
It is also important to choose the right symptomatic treatment based on the cause of the disease. In case of sleep disorders, sedatives are prescribed, in case of convulsions, Diazepam and Chlorpromazine. With the development of anaphylactic shock infusion treatment is carried out. During the rehabilitation period, it is recommended to take multivitamin complexes, neuroprotective drugs.
Vaccination is the most effective method to prevent the development of meningeal infection. Vaccinations are made against pathogens of pathology: meningococci, pneumococci, hemophilus bacilli. It is especially important to vaccinate children in time (from 3 months to 5 years), since the disease causes a high mortality rate among newborns. Because of the ease of transmission of purulent meningitis, adults are recommended to be vaccinated in the presence of immunodeficiency, frequent pneumonia, and otitis.
Doctors are required to isolate the patient in a timely manner in order to minimize the risk of spreading the infection.
Possible complications and prognosis
Inflammation of the meninges is the most dangerous condition for the life of an adult and a child. After all, even when providing the necessary therapeutic measures for people with weakened immunity, many consequences develop, one of which is death.
Neurological complications after meningitis are recorded in 20% of patients, the majority of which are elderly people and children.
With a severe course of the disease, edema of the brain develops, causing clinical death. To prevent this state, electrolyte solutions are required to enter the body.
Among other serious complications are:
- hydrocephalus, causing an increase in intracranial pressure;
- multiple organ failure, which affects the heart muscle, kidneys;
- asymmetry of the face, squint due to damage to the nerves of the skull;
- arrhythmia, which causes the spread of pathogens in the inner cardiac membranes;
- empyema, in which pus flows under the base of the skull;
- prolonged convulsive syndrome;
- hearing loss;
In the absence of therapy, the mortality rate is 50%. The most unfavorable prognosis is characteristic of pneumococcal meningitis: death is diagnosed in 20% of cases.
After recovery, you must regularly visit the neurologist. It requires competent rehabilitation measures, including the intake of drugs, exercise therapy, massage, therapeutic baths. An integrated approach to treatment helps to minimize undesirable consequences.