Jolt accentuation and its value as a sign in diagnosis of meningitis in patients with fever and headache
Mani Mofidi, Narges Negaresh, Davood Farsi, Mahdi Rezai, Babak Mahshidfar, Saeed Abbasi, Peyman Hafezimoghadam
Emergency Medicine Management Research Center, Rasoul-e-Akram Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Keywords: Jolt accentuation; Meningitis; Fever; Headache
Objectives: Meningitis is an important disease among the patients being visited in Emergency Departments (EDs). There are many signs to diagnose it with different sensitivity and specificity reported in previously done studies. Current study tries to evaluate diagnostic accuracy of “Jolt accentuation” in the diagnosis (Dx.) of meningitis in patients with fever and headache.
Materials and methods: 48 adult patients, who were referred to two teaching EDs for fever and headache and were diagnosed as suspected meningitis, were included in this prospective observational study. Demographic characteristics of patients were recorded in data sheets, as well as the results of exams including nuchal rigidity, Kernig and Brudzinski signs, and Jolt accentuation. Then, lumbar puncture (LP) was done and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was analyzed for each patient; pleocytosis (more than five white blood cells in high power field) were considered as meningitis. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV), and positive and negative likelihood ratios (LR+ and LR−) of the above mentioned signs were compared to each other.
Results: Meningitis was proved in 33 patients (68.8% of them), according to CSF analysis. Jolt accentuation had sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, LR+, and LR− of 69.6%, 33.3%, 69.6%, 33.3%, 1.02, and 0.91, respectively. Jolt accentuation had the highest sensitivity rate all of the signs mentioned above; although, it was not significant.
Conclusion: Jolt accentuation alone cannot rule in or out the Dx. of meningitis in patients with fever and headache; LP is still recommended for these patients.