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May 2001

Acute Severe Spinal Cord Dysfunction in Bacterial Meningitis in Adults: MRI Findings Suggest Extensive Myelitis

Arch Neurol. 2001;58(5):717-718. doi:10.1001/archneur.58.5.717

IN THIS issue of the ARCHIVES, Kastenbauer et al1 describe their important observation of acute spinal cord involvement during the course of bacterial meningitis in 3 adults and review the etiology of spinal cord dysfunction in bacterial meningitis. There are a number of neurological complications of acute bacterial meningitis, including raised intracranial pressure causing coma, cerebral ischemia causing focal neurologic deficits and/or seizure activity, cranial nerve palsies, dural sinus thrombosis, subdural effusions, ataxia, and hyponatremia due to the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone. To this list, Kastenbauer et al1 add myelitis, and consequently also add bacteria to the list of infectious causes of myelitis.

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