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What tests confirm bacterial meningitis?

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In brief: Spinal fluid culture

To diagnose bacterial meningitis, typically, a spinal tap is done to remove a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and brain.
The fluid is tested for the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, protien, and glucose. Then the fluid is cultured for bacteria which can take up to 3 to 4 days for results. It may also be cultured for viruses and that can take 7 day.

In brief: Spinal fluid culture

To diagnose bacterial meningitis, typically, a spinal tap is done to remove a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and brain.
The fluid is tested for the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, protien, and glucose. Then the fluid is cultured for bacteria which can take up to 3 to 4 days for results. It may also be cultured for viruses and that can take 7 day.
Dr. Tammi Schlichtemeier
Dr. Tammi Schlichtemeier
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Dr. Arnon Rubin
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