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Table 1 Typical CSF parameters in meningitis (according to [3])

From: SOP: emergency workup in patients with suspected acute bacterial meningitis

  Bacterial Viral Tuberculous
Cell count > 1000/μla < 1000/μlb < 1000/μl
Cytology Polymorphonuclear Lymphocyticc Mixed
CSF/serum glucose index Decreased Normal Decreased
Lactate > 3,5 mmol/l < 3,5 mmol/l > 3,5 mmol/l
Proteind > 100 mg/dl < 100 mg/dl > 100 mg/dl
  1. aLess than 1000 cells/μl in 1/3 of patients with bacterial meningitis
  2. bIn patients with Herpes virus encephalitis, cell counts in the initially assessed CSF can be within normal limits
  3. cPolymorphonuclear cells usually dominate in patients with enteroviral meningitis and in the initial stage of viral meningitis
  4. dIndicating blood-CSF barrier disruption