Recurrent meningitis due to anatomical defects: The bacteria indicates its origin

A. Morgenstern Isaak, A. Bach Faig, S. Martínez, A. Martín-Nalda, E. Vázquez Méndez, F. Pumarola Segura, P. Soler-Palacín

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Recurrent meningitis is a rare disease. Anatomical abnormalities and immunodeficiency states are predisposing factors. Four cases, in which immunodeficiency was excluded, are presented. The causal microorganism led to the detection of the anatomical defect responsible for the recurrences. Patients and methods Retrospective review of 4 cases with clinical diagnosis of recurrent bacterial meningitis. Results Case 1: a thirty month-old boy with unilateral hearing loss, diagnosed with Mondini abnormality by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after 2 episodes of Haemophilus influenzae meningitis. Surgical repair after third recurrence. Case 2: fourteen year-old girl diagnosed by MRI with cribriform plate defect after 3 episodes of meningitis due to Streptococcus pneumoniae. Ventriculoperitoneal shunt was placed. Case 3: girl with meningitis due to Staphylococcus aureus at 2 and 7 months. MRI shows occipital dermal sinus requiring excision. Complication with cerebellar abscesses because of a coexisting dermoid cyst. Case 4: child with meningitis due to Streptococcus bovis at 9 days and Enterococcus faecium, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli at 7 months, with positive cultures to Citrobacter freundii and E. faecium later on. Spinal MRI led to the diagnosis of Currarino syndrome with CSF fistula, which was surgically repaired. The 4 patients had undergone image studies reported as normal during the first episodes. Conclusions In patients with recurrent meningitis the possibility of an anatomical defect should be considered. The isolated microorganism should help to locate it. It is essential to know the normal flora of the different anatomical sites. The definitive treatment is usually surgical.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-396
JournalAnales de Pediatria
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Congenitalanatomical defect
  • Currarino triad
  • Mondini abnormality
  • Recurrent bacterialmeningitis


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