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Table 2 Clinical and microbiological details of 52 children with suspected CNS infection and 43 with meningococccal septicaemia

From: The role of lumbar puncture in children with suspected central nervous system infection

Initial Clinical Impression LP Performed LP Not performed
  No. of patients CSF findings and microbiology results No. of patients Microbiology results
Suspected meningoencephalitis, no rash 14 Pleocytosis, N. meningitidis in CSF [2]* 8 N. meningitidis in BC & PCR [1]
   Pleocytosis, N. meningitidis in BC [1]   N. meningitidis by PCR [1]
   Pleocytosis, E. coli in CSF [1]   
   Pleocytosis, cultures negative [2]   
Suspected meningitis with meningococcal rash 1 Pleocytosis, cultures negative [1] 12# N. meningitidis in BC (6, including 4 PCR +)
     N. meningitidis by PCR [2]
     H. Influenzae in endotracheal aspirate [1]
Septic screen in infants <6 months old 10 CSF normal 7 E. coli in BC [1]
Meningococcal septicaemia (LP Contraindicated) 0   43 N. meningitidis in BC (7, including 5 PCR +)
     N. meningitidis by PCR [10]
     N. meningitidis by antigen test only [3]
  1. * Numbers of patients in brackets # 5 patients had contraindications to LP, (all were shocked, and 2 had deep come): 2 with BC, and 1 with PCR positive for N meningitidis BC = blood cultures, CSF = cerebrospinal fluid, WBC = white blood cells PCR was only performed on blood