Sonographic findings in bacterial meningitis in neonates and young infants
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Cranial sonography plays an important role in the initial evaluation of infants with suspected bacterial meningitis and in monitoring for complications of the disease. Echogenic widening of the brain sulci, meningeal thickening and hyperemia suggest the diagnosis in an at-risk population. Sonography can identify the presence of extra-axial fluid collections, and color Doppler sonography can be very helpful in differentiating benign enlargement of subarachnoid spaces from subdural effusions. Intraventricular debris and stranding, and an irregular and echogenic ependyma are highly suggestive findings associated with ventriculitis. Sonography can play an important role in the detection of postinfectious hydrocephalus, in the determination of the level of obstruction, and in the evaluation of intracranial compliance. Focal or diffuse parenchymal involvement can represent parenchymal involvement by cerebritis, infarction, secondary hemorrhage or early abscess.
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