The natural history of coccidioidal meningitis: Va—armed forces cooperative studies, 1955–1958

John N. Galgiani, Tom Vincent, Milton Huppert, David Salkin

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101 Scopus citations


From records on the clinical course of 699 military and veteran patients who had coccidioidomycosis before the advent of effective antifungal therapy, we identified 25 cases in which the manifestations of meningeal dissemination were described. Of 21 patients who had an identifiable initial infection, 16 developed meningeal symptoms (most frequently headache, vomiting, and nuchal rigidity) within the next 6 months. Associated pulmonary lesions were significantly more frequent in the right than in the left lung, as was also the case among 47 matched control patients who had coccidioidomycosis but not meningitis. Of 17 patients whose meningeal symptoms developed during the period studied, all died within 31 months. However, four of eight patients whose onset of symptoms preceded the study period survived for 55–146 months. Patients whose extrapulmonary dissemination involved only the meninges survived significantly longer than did those with more extensive infections. Even without therapy, the white blood cell count in cerebrospinal fluid markedly decreased during the course of the infection. The quantitative analysis provided herein offers a basis for meaningful comparisons with patients enrolled in current and future trials of therapy for coccidioidal meningitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-254
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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