HIV co-infection and mortality pattern of purulent meningitis: A 5 year retrospective autopsy study at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital


  • EM Der
  • RK Gyasi
  • M Mutocheluh
  • JT Anim


Autopsy, Purulent meningitis, HIV, Co-infection, opportunistic infections


This study utilized retrospective autopsy data to examine the relationship between HIV co-infection and mortality pattern of purulent meningitis. All autopsy log books and available hospital files were reviewed for information on purulent meningitis for which autopsies were performed in 2005 through 2009 at the Pathology Department of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana. The mean ± SD of the studied population was 34.6±19.5 years and the prevalence of HIV co-infection among this population was 4.3%. Female participants died at a significantly younger age (31.9±19.7 years; p=0.0103) compared to their male counterparts (36.1±19.2 years). Most of the cases in HIV negative purulent meningitis death had purulent meningitis as the primary cause (i.e. 87.9% vs 18.5%) whereas most of the death in HIV co-infection cases had purulent meningitis as the secondary cause of death to other conditions such as CVA, pneumonia, head injury due to road traffic accidents and various malignancies (i.e. 81.5% vs 12.1%). Purulent meningitis secondary to other conditions is more likely to be the cause of death in aged subject. The prevalence of purulent meningitis with HIV co infection was low in this study. The mortality pattern is related to the age and gender of the studied population and whether the purulent meningitis is primary or as a co infection with HIV.