Meningitis and meningococcal sepsis are emergency conditions associated with high mortality. The outcome is worsened by the onset of disseminated intravascular coagulation. This may present, particularly in children, with the clinical picture of purpura fulminans, characterized by extensive necrotic-hemorrhagic skin lesions, ischemia of the extremities and multiorgan failure. It has been observed that depletion of coagulation inhibitors, particularly protein C, plays a key role in the development of this severe complication. We describe the case of a woman who presented in the Emergency Room with signs of meningitis, drowsiness, hypotension and petechie. Bacterioscopic examination of the cerebrospinal fluid evidenced characteristic gram-negative diplococci. Laboratory data disclosed initial disseminated intravascular coagulation with low levels of proteins C and S. Following intravenous infusion of antibiotics, fluids and fresh frozen plasma, the patient's condition rapidly improved. However, multiple skin lesions appeared on her fingers, toes and heels. It is likely that the infusion of coagulation inhibitors contained in fresh frozen plasma, prevented evolution to full-blown purpura fulminans. The first choice treatment for purpura fulminans in meningococcal sepsis is infusion of protein C concentrate, which is not, however, currently available on the market.
|Translated title of the contribution||Adult meningococcal meningitis complicated by skin necrosis: A case report|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Annali Italiani di Medicina Interna|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine