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Pneumocephalus with meningitis secondary to an old traumatic anterior cranial fossa defect
  1. Freston Marc Sirur1,2,
  2. Akash Daswaney1,2,
  3. Roshini Raghu2 and
  4. Mohammad Khalid1,2
  1. 1Emergency Medicine, Kasturba Hospital Manipal, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  2. 2Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Akash Daswaney; akashdaswaney{at}


We report a case of a 30-year-old man who presented with altered mental status, fever, headache and vomiting for 3 days. An initial CT scan of the brain revealed the presence of pneumocephalus with a bony defect in the anterior cranial fossa. The pneumocephalus was not explained initially and the patient was re-examined for any signs of trauma to the face, and a review of the history revealed a series of three traumatic events months prior to this illness. Further laboratory studies revealed Streptococcus pneumoniae in the blood and bacterial meningitis. He was treated with antibiotics and was later taken up for endoscopic repair of the skull base defect. This case highlights the importance of recognising post-traumatic pneumocephalus with superimposed meningitis and sepsis months after a traumatic event to the skull base.

  • emergency medicine
  • trauma
  • meningitis
  • infection (neurology)
  • otolaryngology / ENT

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  • Twitter @marc_sirur

  • Contributors FMS—Final Draft/Review, Conceptualised, Editing, Patient Care. AD—Co-author, Final Draft/Review, Conceptualised, Editing, Review of Literature. RR—Co-author, Review of Literature. MK—Patient Care, Final Draft/Review.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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