differential diagnosis

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Meningitis requires distinction from other conditions which may present with headache, vomiting, and neck stiffness, which include:

  • subarachnoid haemorrhage
  • migraine

When an organism cannot be identified by staining or when the CSF contains a mixed picture of mononuclear cells and polymorphs, or mononuclear cells alone, then the following conditions can be considered:

  • partially treated meningitis
  • viral meningitis
  • tuberculous meningitis
  • neoplastic meningitis
  • syphilitic meningitis
  • fungal meningitis
  • intracranial abscess

Last reviewed 01/2018

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