Table 2

Negative predictive values and likelihood ratios for clinical signs of meningitis

Clinical signNegative predictive values*Likelihood ratios of negative result*
Nuchal rigidity0.62 to 0.800.56 to 0.74
Kernig’s sign0.510.51 to 0.56
Brudzinski’s sign0.580.46 to 0.61
  • A quantitative summary of how effectively the absence of each clinical sign alone rules out a diagnosis of meningitis.

  • *Predictive values and likelihood ratios derived from studies summarised in table 1.2 4–7