The CDC’s Case Definitions for Meningitis and Septic Arthritis

Probable Case

A person who received a preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) injection, with preservative-free MPA that definitely or likely came from one of the following three lots produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) [[email protected], [email protected], [email protected]], and subsequently developed any of the following:

  • Meningitis1 of unknown etiology following epidural or paraspinal injection2 after May 21, 2012;
  • Posterior circulation stroke without a cardioembolic source and without documentation of a normal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) profile, following epidural or paraspinal injection2 after May 21, 2012;3
  • Osteomyelitis, abscess or other infection (e.g., soft tissue infection) of unknown etiology, in the spinal or paraspinal structures at or near the site of injection following epidural or paraspinal injection2 after May 21, 2012; or
  • Osteomyelitis or worsening inflammatory arthritis of a peripheral joint (e.g., knee, shoulder, or ankle) of unknown etiology diagnosed following joint injection after May 21, 2012.

1 Clinically diagnosed meningitis with one or more of the following symptoms: headache, fever, stiff neck, or photophobia, in addition to a CSF profile showing pleocytosis (>5 white blood cells, adjusting for presence of red blood cells by subtracting 1 white blood cell for every 500 red blood cells present) regardless of glucose or protein levels.

2 Paraspinal injections include, but are not limited to, spinal facet joint injection, sacroiliac joint injection, or spinal or paraspinal nerve root/ganglion block.

3 Patients in this category who do not have any documented CSF results should have a lumbar puncture performed if possible, using a different site than was used for the epidural injection when possible.

Confirmed Case

A probable case with evidence (by culture, histopathology, or molecular assay) of a fungal pathogen associated with the clinical syndrome.