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July 1969

Clostridium perfringens Meningitis: Report of a Case With Neuropathological Observations

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pathology (Dr. Conomy) and medicine (Dr. Dalton), Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital and Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland.

Arch Neurol. 1969;21(1):44-50. doi:10.1001/archneur.1969.00480130058006

BACTERIAL meningitis due to Clostridium perfringens is rare. Cases published previously have been associated with penetrating craniocerebral trauma,1-10 and many have been associated with clostridial cerebral abscesses.1,5,7-9 In the recorded war experiences of the Russian and British medical military staffs during World War II, C perfringens was only rarely isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with serious and undoubtedly contaminated head injuries.7-9 In keeping with the small number of cases published in which autopsy study was made,1,4,6 the neuropathologic changes accompanying this disease have received little attention. This report concerns a patient who contracted C perfringens meningitis while hospitalized, in whom the diagnosis was established during life, and who succumbed rapidly to a particularly vicious nervous system infection. In contrast to all other patients reported with this unusual meningitic illness, he did not have precedent penetrating craniocerebral trauma.

Report of a Case  An