Meningococcal Meningitis Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Nov 06, 2023
  • Author: Francisco de Assis Aquino Gondim, MD, PhD, MSc, FAAN; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

In addition to the diseases listed under Differentials, conditions that can mimic the symptoms of meningococcal meningitis include the following:

Rocky Mountain spotted fever [9]

  • Streptococcal meningitis

  • Listerial meningitis

  • Adrenal failure

  • Sepsis

  • Multiorgan failure

  • HIV-1 Associated CNS Conditions: Meningitis

  • HIV-1 Associated Opportunistic Infections: CNS Cryptococcosis

  • HIV-1 Associated Opportunistic Infections: CNS Toxoplasmosis

  • HIV-1 Associated Opportunistic Infections: Cytomegalovirus Encephalitis

  • Lyme Disease

  • Intracranial epidural abscess

Meningitis due to N meningitidis may, at presentation, be impossible to differentiate from other types of meningitis. Moreover, in the early stages, meningococcal meningitis may be misdiagnosed as a viral infection, and the patient may be discharged from an emergency department.

Differential Diagnoses