Study of CSF C-reactive protein in meningitis to differentiate bacterial meningitis from aseptic meningitis in children between 1 month and 12 years of age

Bhagwan S. Natani, Pardeep Goyal, Ankit Agarwal, Sumit Bhatia, Malvika Kumar


Background: Meningitis is a serious illness of childhood. CSF Gram stain and culture is the gold standard for diagnosis which is a costly and time consuming. So, this study was conducted with the objective to measure the specificity, sensitivity, positive and negative predictive values and diagnostic accuracy of CSF-CRP in the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis.

Methods: This prospective study was conducted in Department of Pediatrics, National Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Jaipur. Children between 1 month to 12 years of age admitted with acute history of fever and seizure were included. CSF was sent for CRP estimation and other laboratory investigations. CSF CRP was determined qualitatively and value >6mcg/ml was considered positive. Patients were divided into three groups based on clinical and CSF findings. Group 1 (Bacterial meningitis), Group 2 (Aseptic Meningitis) and Group 3 (No meningitis/Control Group). Statistical analysis was done using software SPSS version 23.

Results: 120 patients were enrolled in our study. 65% of our cases were males. The mean age of our cases was 74.9±39.8 months. 48 cases had bacterial meningitis, 42 cases had Aseptic Meningitis and 30 cases had no meningitis. CSF-CRP was positive in 35 cases of Bacterial meningitis, 6 cases of aseptic meningitis and negative in all cases of control group. Hence the Sensitivity, Specificity, Positive Predictive Value, Negative Predictive Value and Diagnostic Accuracy of CSF-CRP for diagnosis of bacterial meningitis were 72.92%, 85.71%, 85.71%, 73.47% and 78.89% respectively. CSF-CRP cases of bacterial meningitis were also found to have a poor outcome.

Conclusions:CSF-CRP can be used as an initial test for the diagnosis of Bacterial Meningitis till other confirmatory test reports are awaited. 


Cerebrospinal fluid, C-reactive protein, Meningitis

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