Subarachnoid block complicating purulent meningitis is rarely encountered today, though before the use of antibiotics this was not an uncommon fatal complication. In reviewing the literature on this subject we have found only ten reports of successfully treated subarachnoid block due to purulent meningitis. An important feature in the treatment of each of these was the intrathecal administration of enzymes. Streptokinase and streptodornase were used in three of these patients, and pancreatic desoxyribonuclease was used in the other seven.1-4
This report is of a patient with a spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage who developed Staphylococcus aureus meningitis and subarachnoid block. This was successfully treated with intrathecal streptokinase and streptodornase (Varidase) and antibiotics.
Report of Case
A 39-year-old man was admitted to the Cincinnati General Hospital Nov 29, 1955, with delirium tremens. He was an alcoholic bartender who had been drinking heavily for several months. There was no history of trauma or
McWHORTER HB, JOSEPHSON BM. Staphylococcal Meningitis Complicated by Subarachnoid Block: Report of a Case Successfully Treated by Intrathecal Streptokinase and Streptodornase. Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(2):242–247. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860020140019
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