Pathogenesis of meningitis 

Risk factors for pathogen ...

Pathogenesis of meningitis 

Risk factors for pathogen entry include immunocompromised state (HIV positive, cancer, chemotherapy patients, etc.), bacteremia, viremia, 

endocarditis, asplenia, site-specific infections (pneumonia, sinusitis, otitis media), and cranial injury. Following pathogen invasion, the 

immune system is activated, which produces the complications and clinical features of meningitis. Immune cells and the damaged 

endothelial cells release matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), cytokines, and nitric oxide (NO). MMPs and NO induce vasodilation in the 

cerebral vasculature. Cytokines and chemokines induce capillary wall changes in the blood brain barrier (BBB) leading to the expression of 

more leukocyte receptors, which increases white blood cell (WBC) binding and extravasation. Further damage to the meninges and 

endothelial cells increases cytotoxic reactive oxygen species production, which damages pathogens as well as the nearby cells. Collectively, 

these changes lead to an elevated intracranial pressure (ICP), cerebral edema, meningeal irritation, and neuronal death. 

#Meningitis #Pathophysiology #Pathogenesis
Contributed by

Dr. Gerald Diaz
Board Certified Internal Medicine Hospitalist, GrepMed Editor in Chief πŸ‡΅πŸ‡­ πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ - Sign up for an account to like, bookmark and upload images to contribute to our community platform. Follow us on IG: | Twitter:
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