Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 210-214

Utility of cerebrospinal fluid cortisol level in acute bacterial meningitis


1 Department of Neurology, MS Ramaiah Medical College and Hospital, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Medicine, MS Ramaiah Medical College and Hospital, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Rohan R Mahale
Department of Neurology, MS Ramaiah Medical College and Hospital, Bangalore - 560 054, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.150626

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Background: Meningitis remains a serious clinical problem in developing as well as developed countries. Delay in diagnosis and treatment results in significant morbidity and mortality. The role and levels of intrathecal endogenous cortisol is not known. Objective: To study the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cortisol levels and to evaluate its role as a diagnostic and therapeutic marker in acute bacterial meningitis. Materials and Methods: Thirty patients with acute bacterial meningitis with no prior treatment were evaluated. Cortisol levels were compared with 20 patients with aseptic (viral) meningitis and 25 control subjects. Results: Mean CSF cortisol level was 13.85, 3.47, and 1.05 in bacterial meningitis, aseptic meningitis, and controls, respectively. Mean CSF cortisol level in bacterial meningitis was significantly higher as compared to controls (P < 0.001). There was significant difference in CSFcortisol levels in bacterial and aseptic meningitis (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Cortisol levels in CSF are highly elevated in patients with acute bacterial meningitis. This suggests that intrathecalcortisol may serve as a valuable, rapid, relatively inexpensive diagnostic marker in discriminatingbetween bacterial and aseptic meningitis. This helps in earlier institution of appropriate treatment and thereby decreasing morbidity and mortality.


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