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Eur J Pediatr. 2012 Sep;171(9):1365-71. doi: 10.1007/s00431-012-1733-5. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

Factors influencing neurological outcome of children with bacterial meningitis at the emergency department.

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Department of Pediatric Emergency Care, APHP-Hospital R. Debré, Paris, France.


We performed a cohort study of children who survived bacterial meningitis after the neonatal period at a single pediatric center in France over a 10-year period (1995-2004) to identify predictors of death and long-term neurological deficits in children with bacterial meningitis. We performed multivariate regression to determine independent predictors of death and neurologic deficits. We identified 101 children with bacterial meningitis of which 19 died during initial hospitalization. Need for mechanical ventilation [hazard ratio (HR) 11.5, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 2.4-55.5)] and thrombocytopenia defined as a platelet count <150 × 10(9) per liter (HR 0.6, 95 % CI 0.4-0.9) at presentation were associated with death during initial hospitalization. At final assessment, 42 of the 70 survivors had no neurologic deficits identified; 20 had a single deficit, and eight had multiple deficits. A delay in initiation of antibiotics (HR 1.3, 95 % CI 1.1-1.7) and hydrocephalus on computed tomographic scan (HR 2.6, 95 % CI 1.1-6.0) were associated with having one or more long-term neurologic deficits. Identification of children at risk of death or long-term neurologic sequelae may allow therapeutic interventions to be directed to children at the highest risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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