Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges. This inflammation is often caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. However, there are times when the inflammation is caused by foreign irritants such as steroids, contrast agents, and chemotherapy agents. This latter type is called chemical meningitis.
Symptoms Of Chemical Meningitis
- Chemical meningitis may cause headaches, vomiting, nausea, and other symptoms.
- Because chemical meningitis disrupts the normal function of the meninges, the patient can experience decreased motor and sensory function. That means that the person could have problems in moving parts of their bodies or, worse, have problems walking and moving around.
- The patient may also have fever, often, very high fever. However, patients will have a lower temperature than those with other forms of meningitis. So, patients will rarely register a temperature of more than 103 °F.
- Another important symptom to take note is neck stiffness. This is also called as nuchal rigidity. This symptom is characterized by muscle spasms in the neck area. The patient will also have a difficulty moving the neck forward.
Is Chemical Meningitis Contagious?
Chemical meningitis is very dangerous but it is not contagious. The reason for this is that the infection was not achieved by the usual routes of infection.It occurred due to the introduction of certain chemicals in the brain by certain carriers. Thus, the infection will not spread unless there is no direct contact with the contaminated brain parts and fluids.
Chemical Meningitis Diagnosis
- Blood tests will be done to check for markers of inflammation.
- Lumbar puncture will also be done to check for the presence of bacteria and the blood count.
- Before undergoing lumbar puncture, it might also be necessary for the patient to undergo CT scan or MRI.
Treatment For Chemical Meningitis
- Some medications are administered to the patient with chemical meningitis.
- Intravenous fluids are also given to balance body fluids.