[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
March 18, 1974

Fulminant Meningococcemia With High Serum Level of Meningococcal Capsular Antigen

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Infectious Diseases, Division of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee County General Hospital, Milwaukee.

JAMA. 1974;227(11):1301-1302. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230240059028

IT HAS been reported recently that patients with meningococcal disease and meningococcal capsular antigens detectable in the serum had more severe disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), and a generally worse prognosis than patients without detectable antigenemia.1 Counterimmunoelectrophoresis (CIE) is a rapid and simple method for detecting pneumococcal, meningococcal, and Haemophilus antigens in patients' sera and other body fluids.2,3 We describe a patient with fulminant meningococcemia and severe DIC who had a high level of meningococcal antigen in the serum as detected by CIE.

Report of a Case  A 17-year-old girl was admitted on Aug 16, 1973, because of shaking chills, fever, headache, confusion, and the development of a diffuse rash within the 12 hours preceding her admission to the hospital. On examination, she appeared acutely ill, cyanotic and restless. Blood pressure was 60/40 mm Hg; respirations, 30/min; pulse, 120 beats per minute (regular, but thready); and temperature was 37.5