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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 1999 May 25;48(3):199-208.

Recurrent meningitis in the pediatric patient--the otolaryngologist's role.

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Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, USA.



To assess the etiology of recurrent meningitis in the pediatric patient.


Retrospective case series and literature review.


Tertiary-care pediatric hospital.


Children (< 17-years-old) with recurrent meningitis, treated at Texas Children's Hospital (TCH) between 1984 and 1995.


A review of 463 cases of bacterial meningitis over an 11 year period revealed six children aged 3 months to 15 years with the diagnosis of recurrent meningitis. The patient's age, number of episodes of meningitis, diagnostic investigations performed and etiologies of recurrent meningitis were recorded. Fifteen episodes of meningitis were identified in these six patients; Streptococcus pneumoniae represented the bacteriology in 73% of the cases. Two patients were diagnosed with temporal bone abnormalities, two children with immunological deficiencies and no underlying etiology for the recurrent meningitis was identified in the remaining two patients. In this series, one-third of patients had an otolaryngologic etiology for their recurrent meningitis. These six patients, along with a review of the recent literature, will highlight the need for otolaryngological assessment and the importance of considering immunological investigations when managing recurrent meningitis in the pediatric patient.


We propose that children with recurrent meningitis of unknown etiology undergo: (1) an audiological evaluation; (2) a CT scan of the temporal bones, skull base and paranasal sinuses; and (3) an immunological evaluation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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