Neonatal meningitis associated with osteomyelitis and epidural empyema

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Abstract

Neonatal meningitis is a serious disease with significant mortality and morbidity. Its signs and symptoms are subtle, non-specific, atypical or absent. Cephalohaematoma is frequent in newborns and complications are uncommon, including local infection after haematogenous spread in the setting of bacteraemia or meningitis with a possibility of osteomyelitis, epidural abscess and subdural empyema. We report the case of a late preterm newborn, with an unremarkable pregnancy, born by vacuum-assisted vaginal delivery that presented in the fifth day of life with irritability, fever and grunting. Cerebrospinal fluid and blood cultures were positive for Escherichia coli. The patient had neurological deterioration despite adequate antibiotic therapy and brain MRI showed a right parietal epidural empyema, subcutaneous abscess, osteomyelitis and supratentorial hydrocephalus. The culture of the cephalohaematoma's abscess material was positive for E coli. Antibiotic therapy was continued for 8 weeks. The child, now 2 years old, has spastic tetraparesis with global development delay.

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