Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) immunoglobulins were measured in 62 normal children, in 9 children with purulent meningitis, and in 10 children with presumptive viral meningitis. The mean values in normal children were IgA 0, IgM 0, and IgG 0.84 +/- 1.4 mg/100 ml (+/- SD). The mean levels of all CSF immunoglobulins were raised in acute bacterial meningitis and were significantly greater than the levels found in viral meningitis. CSF IgM was 0.16 +/- 0.5 mg/100 ml in viral meningitis compared with 2.64 +/- 2.06 mg/100 ml in bacterial meningitis (P less than 0.01). However, these values overlapped to a considerable extent and, generally, measurement of CSF immunoglobulins did not enhance diagnostic accuracy in this group of children.
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