ContentsSynopsisCodesLook ForDiagnostic PearlsDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsManagement PearlsTherapyReferencesView all Images (4)
Chronic meningococcemia
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Chronic meningococcemia

Contributors: Erin X. Wei MD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Chronic meningococcemia is a rare, recurring, chronic infection of Neisseria meningitidis, which typically presents with an acute febrile illness. Chronic meningococcemia is typically associated with serogroup B N meningitidis. It can affect both adults and children. There are associated myalgias, arthralgias, anorexia, weight loss, and mild headaches that tend to recur cyclically in association with fever. If left untreated, chronic meningococcemia can evolve into life-threatening acute meningococcemia, meningitis, or endocarditis. This disease is more common in individuals lacking a terminal component of the complement pathway, but it has also been described in other individuals who have not been vaccinated against N meningitidis.

Symptoms typically persist for a few days, resolve, and then recur. Afebrile periods can last for days to more than a week. Patients feel healthy between episodes. Skin lesions can be macular, papular, nodular, petechial, or polymorphous. Joint pain typically affects the ankles and knees. Average duration of disease is approximately 1.5-3 months, depending on the case series, and tends to be shorter in children (persisting for 7 weeks to 2 months).

Blood cultures are initially negative in early disease in both children and adults, with earlier positivity on average in children. Thus, blood cultures need to be repeated. Blood culture during febrile periods is thought to be of the highest yield.

Codes

ICD10CM:
A39.3 – Chronic meningococcemia

SNOMEDCT:
240426001 – Chronic meningococcemia

Look For

Subscription Required

Diagnostic Pearls

Subscription Required

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Best Tests

Subscription Required

Management Pearls

Subscription Required

Therapy

Subscription Required

References

Subscription Required

Last Reviewed:11/18/2020
Last Updated:11/18/2020
Copyright © 2021 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Chronic meningococcemia
Chronic meningococcemia : Headache, Rash, Recurring episodes or relapses, Anorexia, Arthralgia, Myalgia
Clinical image of Chronic meningococcemia
Petechiae and purpuric papules arising within erythematous patches on the dorsal foot.
Copyright © 2021 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.