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A case of altered mental status

A case of altered mental status

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A case of altered mental status

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  1. A case of altered mental status J. Stephen Huff, MD Associate Professor Emergency Medicine and Neurology University of Virginia Charlottesville, Virginia

  2. Let’s talk about a case... • 52 year-old man brought to ED by EMS • CC: Frontal headache +

  3. History of Present Illness • 3 weeks of frontal headache • Seen by primary care physician 1 week ago • Cranial CT obtained • no intracranial abnormalities • right maxillary sinusitis • started on an antibiotic (amoxicillin / clavulanate)

  4. History of Present Illness1 day prior to ED visit • Headache worsened • Episodes blurred vision and confusion • Seen again by primary care physician • Switched antibiotic to moxifloxacin

  5. History of Present IllnessDay of ED visit • Awakened 6 AM severe headache • Falls or syncope or seizures? • Agitated, confused, hallucinating? • Arrived ED 0840 by EMS

  6. Past Medical History • Psoriasis with vasculitis (digital ischemia) • Non-insulin dependent diabetes • Hypertension, coronary artery disease • Current medications- • Prednisone, celecoxib, metformin, glipizide, esomeprazole, candesartan, ASA, diltiazem, cyclobenzaprine, fluticasone / salmeterol inhaled

  7. Social history(after arrival of family later) • Works as truck driver • Married, lives with family • Past smoker > 40 pack-years • Alcohol, drug use denied

  8. Physical examination • Restless, agitated • 147/86, p 96, RR 16, Temp 36.9 • SaO2 99% (room air) • Will follow simple commands • Responds with name • Looking off into space

  9. Physical examination • Difficult • General examination unremarkable • Digit amputations left hand • Psoriatic plaques • Chest clear; no murmurs

  10. Patient description... • Restless, agitated • Rolling back and forth • No consistent meaningful responses • Neurologic examination • moves all extremities... • Pupils 4 mm, equal, reactive

  11. something not right • Confusion • Agitation • Acute delirium • Altered mental status

  12. Differential diagnosisinitial • Withdrawal syndrome • alcohol • benzodiazepines • Intoxication • alcohol • benzodiazepines

  13. Differential diagnosis • Seizures • post-ictal state • non-convulsive status epilepticus • CNS infection? • CNS structural? • Systemic infection? • Metabolic disturbance ...may co-exist...

  14. Initial approach • IV access • Rapid glucose determination • Thiamine • Laboratory and other blood tests • Sedation for safety? • More history?

  15. Sedate the patient?What is your choice? a) midazolam (Versed) 4 mg IV b) lorazepam (Ativan) 2 mg IV c) haloperidol (Haldol) 5 mg IV d) fentanyl mcg IV e) avoid sedation if at all possible

  16. ED course.... • Family arrived-confirmed no history of drug or alcohol abuse pattern • Family doubted ingestion • Altered mental status worsening

  17. Laboratory results • WBC 13,700 platelets 310, 000 • Na 132, bicarb 24. Cr 1.1 BUN 20 • Glucose 207 Lactate 1.6 • Urinalysis unremarkable • Hepatic functions unremarkable

  18. Differential diagnosis revisited • Withdrawal syndrome • Intoxication • Seizures • post-ictal state • non-convulsive status epilepticus • CNS infection? • CNS structural? • Systemic infection? • Metabolic disturbance

  19. Differential diagnosis revisited • Withdrawal syndrome • Intoxication • Seizures • post-ictal state • non-convulsive status epilepticus • CNS infection? • CNS structural? • Systemic infection? • Metabolic disturbance

  20. Clinical Evidence • Afebrile • White blood cell count indeterminate • Supple neck • CT a week ago showed sinusitis

  21. a few words about Kernig et al • Tests for neck rigidity and stiffness.... • What does supple mean, anyway?

  22. Jolt accentuation of headache maneuver ...bottom line...

  23. Pre-test probabilities?balancing act • Acute bacterial meningitis? • Other CNS infection? • CNS structural lesion? • brain abscess? • parameningeal infection?

  24. CNS Infection?What is your choice for next step? a) empiric antibiotics b) cranial CT c) lumbar puncture d) MRI e) a, b, and c

  25. Working plan • Presumed CNS infection.... • Concerned about possibility of brain abscess.... • Did not want to delay medical therapy

  26. What medication(s) would you give this patient? a) ceftriaxone or other cephalosporin b) vancomycin c) acyclovir d) dexamethasone e) all of the above

  27. a) ceftriaxone - why? b) vancomycin - why? c) acyclovir - why? d) dexamethasone - why?

  28. Empiric therapy for suspected bacterial meningitis • Laboratory-guided ? • Age or risk-factor guided?

  29. Age-guided therapy for suspected bacterial meningitis • Ceftriaxone* appropriate for all outside of neonatal period (>3 months) • Vancomycin for possible resistant S. pneumoniae • Listeria possible at extremes of age • add ampicillin if age less than 1-3 months or greater than 50 years

  30. Is encephalitis a possibility?Herpes simplex encephalitis • What are probabilities? • Is timing as important? • Should further tests be run? What? • Empiric acyclovir?

  31. Steroids? • Are steroids useful or important in acute bacterial meningitis? • Dexamethasone studies...

  32. Steroids in acute bacterial meningitis • Conflicting studies through the years • Most recent - 301 adults with acute bacterial meningitis • randomized • 10 mg dexamethasone 15-20 minutes before antibiotics • 10 mg every 6 hours for four days • Reduction of adverse outcomes and death (26% v. 52%) • Greater benefit in most ill patients.... De Gans et al (NEJM 2002; 347:1549)

  33. What medication(s) would you give this patient? a) ceftriaxone or other cephalosporin b) vancomycin c) acyclovir d) dexamethasone e) all of the above

  34. CT first? • Risk of deterioration after LP in presence of mass lesion? • pre-test probability? • risk factors? • adequate exam?

  35. LP • Lumbar puncture attempted with difficulty • Procedural sedation + restraints • Initial attempts failed.....options?

  36. LP options • Fluoroscopy? • Is it important now in this case? • after all, broad antibiotic coverage... a) acceptable to defer LP until later time? b) go forward at all costs to get fluid? c) defer for moment; revisit later?

  37. What we did.... • Ceftriaxone, Vancomycin (0915) • Acyclovir • Dexamethasone (1211) • Invited consultants to be involved • Sedation for protection and CT • Procedural sedation and restraints • With effort obtained clear, colorless CSF

  38. CSF results • 117 red blood cells • protein 119 • glucose 56 • 121 white cells • 22% segmented, 77% lymphocytes

  39. What type of CNS infection does this patient have? a) bacterial meningitis b) viral meningitis c) encephalitis d) another CNS infection e) cannot tell with certainty

  40. Call from laboratory... • Requesting India Ink test • 3+ encapsulated yeast

  41. Fungal meningitis... • Cryptococcusneoformans most common • Amphotericin or other therapy?

  42. Fungal meningitis... • Induction with amphotericin B • Longer term therapy with fluconazole • Liposomal amphotericin • CSF pressures....